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Factor Structure of Symptoms in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Title: Factor Structure of Symptoms in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comparison of DSM-IV, DSM-5, and Other Competing Models.
Name(s): Guthrie, Whitney, author
Wetherby, Amy, professor directing thesis
Schatschneider, Chris, committee member
Kistner, Janet, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Examination of the structure of autism symptoms is critical to understanding of the phenotype and is particularly timely given changes proposed for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5; Factor structure has been rarely studied in toddlers, although this developmental period represents the earliest manifestations of autism symptoms. The present study examined factor structure in a sample of toddlers between 12 and 30 months (M=20.37, SD=3.32) diagnosed with ASD and drawn from a community-based screening study and children referred for evaluation (N=237). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were conducted comparing the relative fit of four previously proposed models: DSM-5, DSM-IV, one-factor, and alterative three-factor model proposed by van Lang. Results indicated that the DSM-5 provided the best fit to the data with all measures indicating good fit. Indictors for the CFAs, drawn from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Toddler Module, loaded strongly onto the latent factors, supporting the re-organization of symptoms proposed for DSM-5. Together, results indicate that autism symptoms are fractionable and best reduced into the two-factor structure proposed for DSM-5. Consistency of the present results in toddlers with previous studies in older children and adults suggests that the structure of autism symptoms may be similar throughout development. Implications for early screening and diagnosis, and developmental trajectories are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-4882 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2012.
Date of Defense: July 2, 2012.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, confirmatory factor analysis, DSM-5, phenotype, toddlers
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Amy Wetherby, Professor Directing Thesis; Chris Schatschneider, Committee Member; Janet Kistner, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Guthrie, W. (2012). Factor Structure of Symptoms in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comparison of DSM-IV, DSM-5, and Other Competing Models. Retrieved from