Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 1521–1530 | Cite as

Validating the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Pat MirendaEmail author
  • Isabel M. Smith
  • Tracy Vaillancourt
  • Stelios Georgiades
  • Eric Duku
  • Peter Szatmari
  • Susan Bryson
  • Eric Fombonne
  • Wendy Roberts
  • Joanne Volden
  • Charlotte Waddell
  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaum
  • The Pathways in ASD Study Team
Original Paper


This study examined the factor structure of the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R) in a sample of 287 preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine six competing structural models. Spearman’s rank order correlations were calculated to examine the associations between factor scores and variables of interest. The 3- and 5-factor models were selected as preferable on the basis of fit statistics and parsimony. For both models, the strongest correlations were with problem behavior scores on the Child Behavior Checklist and repetitive behavior scores on the ADI-R. Developmental index standard scores were not correlated with factors in either model. The results confirm the utility of the RBS-R as a measure of repetitive behaviors in young children with ASD.


Repetitive behavior Autism spectrum disorder Factor analysis Internal validity External validity Preschool 



This study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Autism Speaks, the Government of British Columbia, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, and the Sinneave Family Foundation. The authors thank all the families who participated in the Pathways in ASD study. The authors also acknowledge the members of the Pathways in ASD Study Team. These members had equal contribution to the study and are listed here alphabetically: Liliana Abruzzese, Susan Bauld, Terry Bennett, Ainsley Boudreau, Colin Andrew Campell, Mike Chalupka, Lorna Colli, Melanie Couture, Bev DaSilva, Natalie Dinsdale, Vikram Dua, Lindsay Fleming, Kristin Fossum, Nancy Garon, Shareen Holly, Karen Kalynchuk, Kathryne MacLeod, Wendy Mitchell, Julianne Noseworthy, Irene O’Connor, Sarah Peacock, Teri Phillips, Sara Quirke, Jennifer Saracino, Cody Shepherd, Rebecca Simon, Mandy Steiman, Benjamin Taylor. Ann Thompson, Lee Tidmarsh, Larry Tuff, Stephen Wellington, Isabelle Yun, and Li Hong Zhong.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Mirenda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabel M. Smith
    • 2
  • Tracy Vaillancourt
    • 3
  • Stelios Georgiades
    • 4
  • Eric Duku
    • 4
  • Peter Szatmari
    • 4
  • Susan Bryson
    • 2
  • Eric Fombonne
    • 5
  • Wendy Roberts
    • 6
  • Joanne Volden
    • 7
  • Charlotte Waddell
    • 8
  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaum
    • 7
  • The Pathways in ASD Study Team
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.IWK Health Sciences CentreDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  6. 6.The Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  8. 8.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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