Psychometric Properties of the Mandarin Version of the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST): An Exploratory Study
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Limited studies have investigated the latent autistic traits in the mainland Chinese population for autism spectrum conditions (ASC). This study explored the psychometric properties of a Mandarin Chinese version of the CAST in a sample consisting of 737 children in mainstream schools and 50 autistic cases. A combination of categorical data factor analysis and item response theory suggested a good-fit model of a two-factor solution for 28 items on the Mandarin CAST including social and communication, and inflexible/stereotyped language and behaviours (Goodness-of-fit indices: RMSEA = 0.029, CFI = 0.957, TLI = 0.950, SRMR = 0.064). The correlation between the two factors was moderate (GFC = 0.425). This study provided evidence for the CAST as a multidimensional measure for ASC screening in a Chinese population and also showed that the symptom manifestation of ASC in Chinese children shares similarity with western populations.
KeywordsAutism spectrum conditions Categorical data factor analysis Item response theory CAST China
We are grateful to the families who participated in this study. This study was funded by the Waterloo Foundation, the Peking University First Hospital, the Cambridge Institute of Public Health and the Autism Research Centre in the University of Cambridge. XS was partly funded by Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and Clare Hall of the University of Cambridge during the data collection and then funded by the International Development Fund - Cambridge-CUHK Collaboration on Autism Research in Hong Kong and China during the writing up of this paper. SBC, CA and BA were funded by the Medical Research Council UK and the Wellcome Trust, and the team were funded by the NIHR CLAHRC for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust during the period of this work. FM was funded by MRC UK.
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