The Latent Structure of Autistic Traits: A Taxometric, Latent Class and Latent Profile Analysis of the Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient

Richard J.E. James*, Indu Dubey, Danielle Smith, Danielle Ropar, Richard J. Tunney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3712-3728
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume46
Issue number12
Early online date12 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Keywords

  • Autism quotient
  • Autistic traits
  • Latent class analysis
  • Latent structure analysis
  • Nosology
  • Taxometric analysis

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