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Parent’s Observations of Social Interactions (POSI)

The Parent’s Observations of Social Interactions (POSI; The, 2015) is a seven-item screening instrument for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


The POSI was created as one part of a comprehensive screening instrument designed for pediatric primary care, and is available at The Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children (SWYC). Items for the POSI were selected by a team of experts who reviewed existing assessment instruments and relevant research literature. The POSI is a parent reported paper questionnaire that takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Questions were modeled after the M-CHAT with two additions. There are five response options for each question that vary based on the specific question, and the responses represent the severity of the behavior.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Parent’s Observation s of Social Interactions (POSI)**, 2015. 0-5

Paper administration Parent reads and responds to seven items (5th grade reading level)

5 min. or less


Screening/Diagnosis: S

**Instrument requires special training to administer.



Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Smith, Sheldrick & Perrin, 2013 217, 232, 232 - Age Range: Study 1: 1.5-4 Study 2: 1.8-2.8 Internal reliability and concurrent validity (with M-CHAT) Reliability and validity Reliability and validity

POSI Sensitivity (89%), higher than M-CHAT (71%; p ˂ .05).

Specificities not significantly different (POSI: 54%, M-CHAT: 62%).

Sensitivity (83%) compared favorably to M-CHAT) (50%).

Specifier was lower (75% vs. 84%).

Despite brevity, good internal reliability and comparable sensitivity/specificity to the M-CHAT.

Results of both studies:

Despite the brevity, POSI demonstrated good reliability and comparable sensitivity/specificity to the M-CHAT.

Cronbach’s rho 0.83 to 0.86. Adequate reliability to M-CHAT.

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