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  A preliminary validation of a 35 item version of the Autism Spectrum Questionnaire (AQ) in Denmark
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 Ophav:
Carøe, Ea1, Forfatter
la Cour, Elisa Biering1, Forfatter
Niclasen, Janni2, Vejleder
Tilknytninger:
1Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7001              
2Institut for Psykologi, Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7012              
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Indhold

Ukontrollerede emneord: Autism, autism spectrum quotient, AQ, assessment, adult, confirmatory factor analysis
 Abstract: This thesis consists of three parts. Part I is a research paper investigating the psychometric properties of the Danish translation of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): A community sample of 966 people and an Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism sample of 243 people completed the AQ. Confirmatory factor analyses are conducted on three different models, separately for both samples, and for two different scoring systems. Satisfactory model fits are found for a 35-item, 5 first order factor model, when using the original, dichotomized, scoring system; it shows good test- retest reliability and good internal consistency in both samples. In conclusion, the 35-item dichotomized scored Danish AQ is found psychometrically coherent.
Part II of this thesis outlines the theoretical framework that contributes to the underlying hypotheses of the factor structure of the AQ. Following an examination of the aetiology, five different theories of autism are discussed. The increase in prevalence the recent years is considered. The risk of stigmatization from the diagnosis is recognized, and emphasis is placed on a nuanced perspective of autism. A discussion of the process of diagnosis follows as well as special considerations regarding the assessment of autism in adults. We argue that the AQ can be a valuable contribution to the diagnostic assessment.
Part III considers methodological perspectives pertaining to the AQ, as well as additional data analyses and an estimation and discussion of a Danish screening cut-off. This includes a discussion of different types of scoring, issues with self-report questionnaires, ecological validity, sampling bias, gender differences, criterion validity and an assembly of qualitative data.
Finally we argue that the estimated cut-off of 9.5 in the Danish 35 item version of the AQ should be considered as preliminary due to a comparatively low specificity, and the possible ethical complications. We recommend using this cut-off with caution, if the 35-item version Danish AQ is used as a screening tool. Further exploration of the factor structure of the Danish AQ is recommended, particularly an exploratory factor analytic approach could be thought beneficial. In conclusion, due to issues pertaining to the criterion validity, the present study is considered a preliminary validation of the 35-item version of the Danish AQ.
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Copyright dato:
2013-12-20
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Bogmærk denne post: https://diskurs.kb.dk/item/diskurs:59198:2
 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: Using a confirmatory factor analytic approach on a screening tool for autistic traits in adults
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Detaljer

Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013-10-11
 Sider: -
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: Abstract 2
List of tables and figures in Part III 6
Abbreviations . 6
1 Introduction (la Cour & Carøe). 7
1.1 Demarcation (la Cour & Carøe) . 9
1.2 Problem formulation (la Cour & Carøe) . 10
PART I: THE DANISH VERSION OF THE AUTISM-SPECTRUM QUOTIENT (AQ): FACTOR STRUCTURE, RELIABILITY AND INTERNAL CONSISTENCY IN A COMMUNITY AND AN AUTISM SAMPLE . 11
PART II: THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS . 33
2 What are pervasive developmental disorders? (Carøe) 33
2.1 The aetiology of autism (la Cour) 35
2.1.1 Autism and genes (Carøe) 36
2.1.2 A neurological condition – autism and the brain (Carøe) . 37
3 Theories of autism . 38
2.1 Mirror neuron systems (Carøe) 38
3.2 Impairment in social-cognitive abilities (la Cour) 39
3.2.1 The Sally-Anne-test (Carøe) 40
3.2.2 The extreme male brain theory of autism (Carøe) 41
3.3 The social brain (Carøe) . 41
3.4 Weak central coherence (Carøe). 42
3.5 Executive functioning (Carøe) 43
4 Considerations of diagnosing mental disorders (Carøe) . 44
4.1 Prevalence of autism spectrum conditions is increasing (Carøe) 44
4.2 Possible reasons for the increase in prevalence of autism (Carøe) . 45
4.2.1 Increased awareness and recognition of the diagnosis of autism (Carøe) 45
4.2.2 Wider diagnostic criteria (Carøe) . 46
4.2.3 Changes in our society (Carøe) 46
4.3 Why do we diagnose? (Carøe) 47
4.4 Stigmatization and the consequences of a diagnosis (Carøe) . 49
4.4.1 A diagnosis on the basis of lack of abilities (Carøe) 49
4.5 Considerations when diagnosing autism (la Cour) 50
4.6 The process of diagnosing (Carøe) . 51
4.7 Challenges when assessing autism in adulthood (Carøe) 52
4.8 Co-morbidity (Carøe) 53
5 A finishing note on the theoretical considerations - the triad of diagnostic criteria and the issue of imagination (la Cour) 55
PART III: METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS . 57
6 Construction of the AQ – some psychometric perspectives (Carøe) 57
6.1 Scoring (Carøe) 58
6.2 Self-report and ecological validity in autism questionnaires (la Cour) 59
7 The research design of the present study (la Cour) . 59
7.1 The Danish translation (Carøe) . 60
7.2 Sampling procedure (Carøe) 60
7.3 Background questionnaire and additional procedure (la Cour) . 61
7.4 Sampling bias (la Cour) 61
8 Additional statistical analyses . 62
8.1 Sample characteristics and AQ scores (la Cour) 62
8.2 Gender differences in total AQ scores (la Cour) 63
9 Estimating a Danish cut-off (la Cour) 64
9.1 Statistical analysis and interpretation of output (la Cour) . 65
9.2 Procedure for outliers (la Cour) 66
9.3 Results of ROC curve analysis (la Cour) 68
9.4 Discussion of cut-off estimation and further limitations (la Cour) 70
10 Qualitative AQ data – comments from participants with autism (la Cour) . 72
10.1 Lack of a neutral response option 72
10.2 A test of memory? And mental exhaustion . 72
10.3 Literal interpretation of questions 73
10.4 Questions missing from the questionnaire. 74
11 Conclusion (Carøe & la Cour) 76
11.1 Concluding remarks and perspectives for future research (Carøe & la Cour) 78
11.2 Finishing remarks (Carøe & la Cour) 79
11.3 Acknowledgements (Carøe & la Cour) 79
12 References 81
Appendix A . 93
Appendix B . 99
Appendix C . 103
 Note: -
 Type: Speciale
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