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Asia Pac Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;7(1):105-12. doi: 10.1111/appy.12094. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

The Autism-Spectrum Quotient in university students: pattern of changes in its scores and associated factors.

Author information

1
Students Health Services Center, Kochi University, Kochi, Kochi, Japan.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Support to university students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is becoming increasingly important. To determine the validity of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) for ASD screening of university students, we conducted longitudinal measurements of the AQ in a large sample of university students and investigated the possibility of changes in the AQ and associated factors.

METHODS:

The AQ, University Personality Inventory (UPI), and the willingness of the students to be interviewed were determined at admission in students from four departments of Kochi University; the AQ was determined again in the second year. Changes in the AQ and associated factors were analyzed statistically.

RESULTS:

The number of valid responses in the initial survey was 3427 (87.2%). The AQ was significantly higher in the group with high UPI scores (F = 156.08, P < 0.001). Of the 486 students interviewed at admission, 22 had suspected ASD. The sensitivity/specificity of the AQ for ASD was 81.8%/92.0%. A total of 319 (11.0%) students responded to the second-year survey, which revealed significant decrease of the AQ in the group with high AQ values at admission.

DISCUSSION:

The AQ measured at admission was correlated with the UPI score, regardless of the sex or department; in the second survey, the scores decreased significantly in those with high AQ values at admission, suggesting that an unstable mental state can produce a temporary increase of the AQ scores.

KEYWORDS:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ); University Personality Inventory (UPI); mental state; university student

PMID:
23959925
DOI:
10.1111/appy.12094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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