You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

An Initial Evaluation of the Social Communication Questionnaire for the Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children With Down Syndrome

Magyar, Caroline I. PhD*; Pandolfi, Vincent PhD; Dill, Charles A. PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318240d3d9
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) in a sample of children with Down syndrome (DS), many of whom had a co-occurring autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The SCQ is a widely used ASD screening measure; however, its measurement properties have not been comprehensively evaluated specifically in children with DS, a group that seems to be at higher risk for an ASD. Methods: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, scale reliability, convergent and discriminant correlations, significance tests between groups of children with DS and DS + ASD, and diagnostic accuracy analyses were conducted. Results: Factor analyses identified 2 reliable factors that we labeled Social-Communication and Stereotyped Behavior and Unusual Interests. Pearson correlations with Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised subscales indicated support for the SCQ's convergent validity and some support for the discriminant validity of the factor-based scales. Significance tests and receiver operating characteristic analyses indicated that children with DS + ASD obtained significantly higher SCQ factor-based and total scores than children with DS alone, and that the SCQ Total Score evidenced good sensitivity and adequate specificity. Conclusions: Results indicated initial psychometric support for the SCQ as an ASD screening measure in children with DS. The SCQ should be considered as part of a multimethod evaluation when screening children with DS.

Author Information

From the *Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY; †School Psychology Program, Department of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY; ‡Department of Psychology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY.

Received August 2011; accepted November 2011.

This study was funded in part by AUCD/RTO1 2005-1/2-08, Hyman, PI.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address for reprints: Vincent Pandolfi, PhD, School Psychology Program, Department of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Building 1 Room 3378, 18 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5604; e-mail: vxpgla@rit.edu.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.