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Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Dena A. Pastor


The present study investigated the dimensionality of the short version of Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-26) (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001) via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Designed to screen for autistic traits in a non-clinical adult population, the AQ-26 can potentially be a very useful tool both in research and practice. However, evidence pertaining to the structural validity of the AQ-26 is scarce and inconclusive. Competing factor structure models based on previous research were specified and tested using an American college student sample. None of the theoretically specified models provided adequate fit for the data and the focus of the analysis switched to exploring alternative models and analyzing misfit. Although the structural validity of the AQ-26 was not supported, suggestions for future instrument revisions were made based on the results. Additionally, two scoring schemes were deemed not interchangeable, and the implications of using them were discussed. In summary, the analyses indicated that the AQ-26 needs substantial revision before it can be used in research or practice.

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