The Latent Structure of Autistic Traits:A Taxometric, Latent Class and Latent Profile Analysis of the Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient


Autistic traits are widely thought to operate along a continuum. A taxometric analysis of Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient data was conducted to test this assumption, finding little support but identifying a high severity taxon. To understand this further, latent class and latent profile models were estimated that indicated the presence of six distinct subtypes: one with little probability of endorsing any autistic traits, one engaging in ‘systemising’ behaviours, three groups endorsing multiple components of Wing and Gould’s autistic triad, and a group similar in size and profile to the taxon previously identified. These analyses suggest the AQ (and potentially by extension autistic traits) have a categorical structure. These findings have important implications for the analysis and interpretation of AQ data.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Funding Information: This research in this manuscript was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (Grant Number ES/J500100/1) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant Number EP/G037574/1).
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism quotient,Autistic traits,Latent class analysis,Latent structure analysis,Nosology,Taxometric analysis,Developmental and Educational Psychology
Publication ISSN: 1573-3432
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 07:35
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 10:23
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-12-01
Published Online Date: 2016-09-12
Accepted Date: 2016-09-01
Authors: James, Richard J.E.
Dubey, Indu
Smith, Danielle
Ropar, Danielle
Tunney, Richard J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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