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Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ)

The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is a parent questionnaire designed to identify the presence of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. There are currently two versions of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient: the school-age adolescent version (AQ-Adol; Baron-Cohen, Hoekstra, Knickmeyer, & Wheelwright, 2006) and the children’s version (AQ-Child; Auyeung, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, & Allison, 2008).

Overview

The AQ contains 50 items that describe five areas associated with autism spectrum disorders: social skills, attention switching, attention to detail, communication, and imagination. Parents rate each item on a range from “definitely agree” to “definitely disagree.”

Summary

Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Autism- Spectrum Quotient (AQ) – Adolescent version Baron- Cohen, Hoekstra, Knickmeyer, & Wheelwright (2006) 9 years 8 months– 15 years four months

Parent report questionnaire of 50 items, from “definitely agree” to “definitely disagree”

Yields cutoff scores
Approx. 20 min.

Social Skills;

Attention Switching;

Attention to Detail;

Communication;

Imagination

Screening/Diagnosis: S

Availability: Autism Research Center, http://bit.ly/1y9p5H9

Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Autism- Spectrum Quotient (AQ) – Child version, Auyeung, Baron- Cohen, Wheelwright, & Allison (2008) 4-11

Parent report questionnaire of 50 items, from “definitely agree” to “definitely disagree”

Yields cutoff scores
Approx. 20 min.

Social Skills;

Attention Switching;

Attention to Detail;

Communication;

Imagination

Screening/Diagnosis: S

Availability: Autism Research Center, http://bit.ly/1y9p5H9

Research

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Auyeung, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, & Allison (2008) 1,225 control 192 ASD 348 AS/HFA 26 PDD-NOS 4 atypical AU - Age Range: 4-9 Mean age 7.58 Mean age 9.31 No age reported No age reported Discriminative validity Specificity Internal consistency Factor analysis Test-retest reliability

r = correlation

Clinical groups scored significantly higher than typically developing, but no significantly different from each other, significant sex differences in control group, but not in clinical group.

95%

Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = 0.97, subscales = 0.83-0.93

Support for four of five subscales

r = 0.85
Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Wakabayashi, Baron-Cohen, Uchiyama, Yoshida, Tojo, et al. (2007) 81 22 372 - Age Range: AS/HFA: mean age of 10.4 PDD-NOS: mean age of 10.10 Controls: mean age of 10.9

Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = 0.84, subscales = 0.7-0.8;

AS/HFA and PDD-NOS scored higher than control group (27.083 and 12.189, respectively);

AS/HFA scored higher (t = 2.688) than PDD-NOS;

males scored higher than females in control group (t = 2.209), but no difference in clinical group

(Group 1: t = 1.585; Group 2: t = 1.791);

results similar to UK data, although mean AQ score in Japan was lower

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