The psychometric properties of the Greek version of the Social Communication Questionnaire

THEMELIS KARAMINIS, Stavroula Stavrakaki

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Abstract

Abstract: There is a scarcity of diagnostic assessments and screening tools for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Greek. In this study, we examined the psychometric properties of the recently developed Greek version of the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). We used parental responses for 311 children (mean age: 7.54 years old, SD = 1.92), 122 with a diagnosis of ASD (93 boys, 29 girls) and 189 neurotypical children (104 boys, 85 girls), with 167 responses referring to the Lifetime and 144 to the Current form of the SCQ. Both forms presented adequate construct validity based on the four‐factor model, while in both forms, autistic children presented higher SCQ total and subscale scores (four factors) than typical children. The forms had excellent internal reliability. An item‐response‐theory analysis suggested that over 80% of test items fitted adequately a Rasch model, while a preliminary analysis of gender biases suggested that a small number of items (Lifetime: five; Current: six out of 39) were differentially sensitive to autistic symptomatology in boys and girls. A receiver‐operating‐characteristic analysis showed excellent diagnostic performance based on the SCQ total score (Lifetime: area‐under‐the‐curve/AUC = 0.937, Current: AUC = 0.963), and acceptable to excellent discrimination for the four subscales (AUCs between 0.737 and 0.955). Our preliminary results suggest that the Greek SCQ presents satisfactory psychometric properties and can be used for differentiating children with ASD from typical children in initial assessments within clinical and research settings. Lay Summary: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition with a prevalence of ~1.5%–2% and characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and repetitive and restricted behaviors. There is increasing concern that research in ASD has focused on a small number of languages and cultural settings and that this bias challenges the identification and diagnosis of the condition in other languages and cultures, which are underrepresented in autism research. One such language is Greek (spoken by ~13.5 million), for which there is a scarcity of standardized instruments for the diagnosis of autism. This study examines the psychometric properties of the recently published Greek version of the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), a widely used screening tool for ASD. We conduct an in‐depth psychometric analysis of the Greek SCQ, including both forms in which the instrument is available (Lifetime and Current). This analysis shows that the Greek SCQ can be used for differentiating children with ASD from typical children in initial assessments within clinical and research settings. The findings of this study have implications for clinicians, special educators and researchers working with Greek‐speaking individuals with ASD and, more broadly, for cross‐cultural autism research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1768-1780
Number of pages13
JournalAutism Research
Volume15
Issue number9
Early online date15 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • autism
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • cultural adaption
  • Greek
  • psychometrics
  • screening tools
  • Social Communication Questionnaire
  • validation

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