The latent structure of autistic traits: a taxometric, latent class and latent profile analysis of the adult autism spectrum quotient

Article English OPEN
James, Richard J.E. ; Dubey, Indu ; Smith, Danielle ; Ropar, Danielle ; Tunney, Richard J. (2016)
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, volume 46, issue 12, pages 3,712-3,728 (issn: 0162-3257, eissn: 1573-3432)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC5110592, doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2897-z
  • Subject: Autistic traits | Latent structure analysis | Nosology | Developmental and Educational Psychology | Autism quotient; Autistic traits; Taxometric analysis; Latent class analysis; Latent structure analysis; Nosology | Taxometric analysis | Latent class analysis | Original Paper | Autism quotient

Autistic traits are widely thought to operate along a continuum. A taxometric analysis of Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient data was conducted to test this assumption, finding little support but identifying a high severity taxon. To understand this further, latent class and latent profile models were estimated that indicated the presence of six distinct subtypes: one with little probability of endorsing any autistic traits, one engaging in ‘systemising’ behaviours, three groups endorsing multiple components of Wing and Gould’s autistic triad, and a group similar in size and profile to the taxon previously identified. These analyses suggest the AQ (and potentially by extension autistic traits) have a categorical structure. These findings have important implications for the analysis and interpretation of AQ data. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2897-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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