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Autism Res. 2008 Dec;1(6):354-63. doi: 10.1002/aur.49.

Assessing autistic traits: cross-cultural validation of the social responsiveness scale (SRS).

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/M., Germany.


The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) is a quantitative measure of autistic traits in 4- to 18-year-olds, which has been used in behavior-genetic, epidemiological and intervention studies. The US standardization demonstrated a single-factor structure and good to excellent psychometric properties. The cross-cultural validity of the German adaptation of the parent-report SRS in a sample of N=1,436 children and adolescents: 838 typically developing and 527 clinical participants (160 with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)) was examined. Internal consistency (0.91-0.97), test-retest reliability (0.84-0.97), interrater reliability (0.76 and 0.95) and convergent validity with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule as well as the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Social Communication Questionnaire (0.35-0.58) were satisfactory to good. The SRS total score discriminated between ASD and other mental disorders. SRS scores proved to be sufficiently independent of general psychopathology. Principal component analyses yielded single-factor solutions for the normative and clinical subsamples. In addition, construct validity was ensured by consistent correlations with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, the Child Behavior Checklist and the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory. Normative SRS total scores for girls and boys as well as values for ASD were lower in the German sample, while scores for conduct disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity/conduct disorder combined were higher. Generally, cross-cultural validity of the SRS seems to be sufficiently assured for a large European sample. However, some discrepancies regarding SRS normative and clinical raw score distributions, reliability and validity findings are critically discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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