Comprehensive Comparison of Self-administered Questionnaires for Measuring Quantitative Autistic Traits in Adults

  • Takeshi Nishiyama
  • Masako Suzuki
  • Katsunori Adachi
  • Satoshi Sumi
  • Kensuke Okada
  • Hirohisa Kishino
  • Saeko Sakai
  • Yoko Kamio
  • Masayo Kojima
  • Sadao Suzuki
  • Stephen M. Kanne
Original Paper


We comprehensively compared all available questionnaires for measuring quantitative autistic traits (QATs) in terms of reliability and construct validity in 3,147 non-clinical and 60 clinical subjects with normal intelligence. We examined four full-length forms, the Subthreshold Autism Trait Questionnaire (SATQ), the Broader Autism Phenotype Questionnaire, the Social Responsiveness Scale2-Adult Self report (SRS2-AS), and the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The SRS2-AS and the AQ each had several short forms that we also examined, bringing the total to 11 forms. Though all QAT questionnaires showed acceptable levels of test–retest reliability, the AQ and SRS2-AS, including their short forms, exhibited poor internal consistency and discriminant validity, respectively. The SATQ excelled in terms of classical test theory and due to its short length.


Quantitative autistic traits (QAT) Broader autism phenotype (BAP) Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Reliability Validity 



This study was supported by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Basic Research B: No. 22300095, Basic Research C: No. 24590807 and No. 23591723) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. The authors would like to thank the following people for their assistance with data collection: Dr. Taishi Miyachi, Dr. Masayuki Imaeda, Dr. Atsuro Yamada, Dr. Takao Maeda, Dr. Susumu Adachi, Dr. Hiroshi Hirai, and Dr. Chiho Goto. They also thank Prof. John N. Constantino and Dr. Christian P. Gruber for their useful and constructive comments.

Supplementary material

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Distribution and Q-Q plots of scores from the SRS2-AS short forms according to disease status. (Supplementary Figure 1, TIFF 15005 kb)
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Distribution and Q-Q plot of scores from the AQ short forms according to disease status. (Supplementary Figure 2, TIFF 39461 kb)
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ROC curves for the four full-scale questionnaires of autistic traits to discriminate ASD patients from non-ASD controls. (Supplementary Figure 3, TIFF 39 kb)
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ROC curves for the SRS2-AS and its abridged forms to discriminate ASD patients from non-ASD controls. (Supplementary Figure 4, TIFF 36 kb)
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ROC curves for the AQ and its abridged forms to discriminate ASD patients from non-ASD controls. (Supplementary Figure 5, TIFF 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Nishiyama
    • 1
  • Masako Suzuki
    • 2
  • Katsunori Adachi
    • 3
  • Satoshi Sumi
    • 4
  • Kensuke Okada
    • 5
  • Hirohisa Kishino
    • 6
  • Saeko Sakai
    • 7
  • Yoko Kamio
    • 8
  • Masayo Kojima
    • 9
  • Sadao Suzuki
    • 9
  • Stephen M. Kanne
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthAichi Medical UniversityNagakuteJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical SciencesNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatric and Mental Health NursingNagoya City University School of NursingNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsNagoya Western Rehabilitation Center for Children with DisabilitiesNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Department of PsychologySenshu UniversityTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Laboratory of Biometry and Bioinformatics, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  7. 7.Department of Child Development, United Graduate School of Child DevelopmentOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  8. 8.Department of Child and Adolescent Mental HealthNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  9. 9.Department of Public HealthNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical SciencesNagoyaJapan
  10. 10.Department of Health Psychology, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental DisordersUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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