Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Examination of the Properties of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) in a Population Sample

  • Brie Yama
  • Tom Freeman
  • Erin Graves
  • Su Yuan
  • M. Karen Campbell
Original Paper


This study examines the following properties of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) in an unselected low-risk sample: (a) the maximum age for screen administration; (b) the positive screen rate in the absence of follow-up telephone interviews and; (c) the distributional properties of positive screens. Data came from a prospective cohort study (n = 1,604). Results suggest that the M-CHAT can appropriately be administered to children aged 20–48 months. Documented explanations provided by mothers during screening, appear to effectively identify potential screen misclassifications in the absence of the follow-up telephone interviews. This further emphasizes the importance of clinician expertise in verifying positive M-CHAT screens. Results have implications for the administration of the M-CHAT in clinical and research settings.


Autism spectrum disorders Autism Modified checklist for autism in toddlers M-CHAT Toddlers Developmental screening 



This study was supported by funding provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Funding for Brie Yama was provided by the Ontario Graduate Student—Science and Technology award.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brie Yama
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Tom Freeman
    • 3
  • Erin Graves
    • 1
    • 2
  • Su Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • M. Karen Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Division of Children’s Health and TherapeuticsChildren’s Health Research InstituteLondonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Family MedicineThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  5. 5.Department of PaediatricsThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  6. 6.Chicago Medical SchoolRosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNorth ChicagoUSA
  7. 7.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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