Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 12, pp 2807–2815

Further Evidence on the Factorial Structure of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) for Adults With and Without a Clinical Diagnosis of Autism

  • Winnie Yu Pow Lau
  • Adrian B. Kelly
  • Candida Clifford Peterson
Original Paper


The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) has been widely used for measuring autistic traits however its factor structure has been primarily determined from nonclinic populations. This study aimed to establish an internally coherent and reliable factor structure for the AQ using a sample of 455 Australian adults of whom 141 had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses. Principal component analysis revealed a 39-item questionnaire with five-factors: Sociability, Social Cognition, Interest in Patterns, Narrow Focus and Resistance to Change. The revised AQ-39 had sound goodness-of-fit indices, good-to-excellent internal consistency and test–retest reliability, and scores for ASD and non-ASD participants were significantly different. The AQ-39 may be useful in screening and for guiding the focus of therapy.


Autism Spectrum Quotient Factor analysis Autism spectrum disorders Measure Adult 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winnie Yu Pow Lau
    • 1
  • Adrian B. Kelly
    • 2
  • Candida Clifford Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Youth Substance Abuse ResearchMedical School of the University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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