The latent structure of autistic traits: a taxometric, latent class and latent profile analysis of the adult autism spectrum quotient
James, Richard J.E. and Dubey, Indu and Smith, Danielle and Ropar, Danielle and Tunney, Richard J. (2016) The latent structure of autistic traits: a taxometric, latent class and latent profile analysis of the adult autism spectrum quotient. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46 (12). pp. 3712-3728. ISSN 1573-3432
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 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.
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