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Exploring Cultural Differences in Autistic Traits: A Factor Analytic Study of Children with Autism in China and the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Fangyuan Liu, Anke M. Scheeren, Rachel Grove, Rosa A. Hoekstra, Ke Wang, Dehua Guo, Chongying Wang, Sander Begeer

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date6 Nov 2021
Accepted/In press2021
E-pub ahead of print6 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: FL is funded by China Scholarship Council for the study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. AMS is funded by Aut.17.006, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). RAH receives support from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR200842) using UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. CW is funded by the grants from the Humanities and Social Sciences Youth Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (13YJCZH167). The funding bodies did not have a role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or the drafting of the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed globally, but recognition, interpretation and reporting may vary across cultures. To compare autism across cultures it is important to investigate whether the tools used are conceptually equivalent across cultures. This study evaluated the factor structure of the parent-reported Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form in autistic children from China (n = 327; 3 to 17 years) and the Netherlands (n = 694; 6 to 16 years). Confirmatory factor analysis did not support the two-factor hierarchical model previously identified. Exploratory factor analysis indicated culturally variant factor structures between China and the Netherlands, which may hamper cross-cultural comparisons. Several items loaded onto different factors in the two samples, indicating substantial variation in parent-reported autistic traits between China and the Netherlands.

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