Vol. 16 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2022
Short Communication Páginas: 244 a 248

The Autism Spectrum Quotient in a sample of Brazilian adults: analyses of normative data and performance

Authors Ana Luíza Costa Alves; Jonas Jardim de Paula; Débora Marques de Miranda; Marco Aurélio Romano-Silva


keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Asperger Syndrome; Cross-Cultural Comparison.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and inflexible behaviors/interests. To quantify ASD traits in adults with preserved intelligence, the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was developed, which is a self-report instrument and one of the most used and recommended tools.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to present a descriptive analysis of the AQ in a sample of Brazilian adults with neurotypical development (n=385) and investigate how the scale performs in a clinical subsample (n=33)
METHODS: We recruited 1,024 participants. They answered the Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 (SRQ-20), AQ, and about their psychiatric record. Then, we selected 385 participants without any psychiatric diagnosis to describe the distribution of the ASD traits. To investigate the AQ performance, we evaluated 33 adults with ASD and 19 adults with neurotypical development from the total sample (n=1,024)
RESULTS: ASD traits were normally distributed in the population, with high internal consistency. Of a total of 91 men, volunteers with 32 points (clinical cutoff point) or more scored higher than 93% of the control sample. Of a total of 294 women, those who got a clinical score on the scale scored higher than 97%. In the clinical subsample (n=33), the positive predictive value (PPV) of the AQ was 0.84, and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 0.7.
CONCLUSIONS: The study population has a different profile compared to the original study regarding the AQ scale. ASD traits were normally distributed in the neurotypical sample, and the scale seems to have a satisfactory performance to predict ASD. Future studies are required to adequate the use of the scale in the Brazilian population.


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