Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1761–1779 | Cite as

Validating the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire as a Measure of Parent Perceptions of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Sarah S. Mire
  • Tammy D. Tolar
  • Christie M. Brewton
  • Natalie S. Raff
  • Shannon L. McKee
Original Paper


The illness perception questionnaire (IPQ) and its revision (IPQ-R) measure perceptions about health-related diagnoses and the influence of cognitions on coping. In this study, the factor structure of a version revised for use with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was investigated with a sample of parents (n = 361) whose children have ASD. Subsequently, multidimensional item response theory was used to evaluate item and subscale properties. Results indicated items from five of the seven IPQ-R-ASD scales loaded as expected, though subscales related to control were not distinct. Additionally, parents’ response patterns were evaluated and discussed. Use of this measure in ASD-focused research may enhance understanding of how parents’ cognitions of their child’s ASD impacts treatment selection, treatment implementation, and overall family well-being.


Parent perceptions Autism spectrum disorder IPQ-R Factor analysis Multidimensional item response theory 



This study was supported by a small grant, New Faculty Research Program, from the University of Houston. We are grateful to all of the families at the participating Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) sites, as well as the principal investigators (A. Beaudet, R. Bernier, J. Constantino, E. Cook, E. Fombonne, D. Geschwind, R. Goin-Kochel, E. Hanson, D. Grice, (A) Klin, D. Ledbetter, C. Lord, C. Martin, D. Martin, R. Maxim, J. Miles, O. Ousley, K. Pelphrey, (B) Peterson, J. Piggot, (C) Saulnier, M. State, W. Stone, J. Sutcliffe, C. Walsh, Z. Warren, E. Wijsman). We are particularly grateful for the generosity of parents who participated in the current study. We appreciate the assistance of the SSC@IAN in recontacting SSC families for recruitment in this project.

Author Contributions

SSM contributed to Study Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Original Draft, Review & Editing, Funding Acquisition. TDT contributed to Methodology, Formal Analysis, Original Draft, Review & Editing. CMB contributed to Investigation, Original Draft. NSR contributed to Investigation, Original Draft. SLM contributed to Investigation, Review & Editing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning SciencesUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES)University of HoustonHoustonUSA

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