Factor Structure of the Social Communication Questionnaire in Preschool Aged Autistic Children
Jessica Paynter, Annette Joosten, Giacomo Vivanti, Cheryl Dissanayake & 0Valsamma Eapen
Objectives: The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) is a common screening tool for autism spectrum disorder. Given its wide use, as well as recent changes to diagnostic criteria for autism, there is a need to evaluate whether the SCQ maps onto the social communication and interaction, and repetitive behaviour and restricted interests domains specified in the revised criteria in DSM-5.
Methods: Participants included 294 preschool aged autistic children. Confirmatory factor analysis was implemented to evaluate the factor structure of the SCQ.
Results: None of the models evaluated provided an adequate fit to the data. However, the best fitting model mapped onto the previous DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for autism.
Conclusions: The SCQ does not align with the new DSM-5 domains. More research is needed to evaluate the factor structure of the SCQ in different populations of autistic children in order to determine its current validity as a screening tool.