[Factor structure of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R): a study of dimensional versus categorical classification of autistic disorders]

Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2001 Aug;29(3):221-9. doi: 10.1024//1422-4917.29.3.221.
[Article in German]


Objectives: This study investigated whether empirically derived dimensions of autistic behavior are consistent with the content-valid construction of the autistic behavior domains according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV (social interaction, communication and repetitive, stereotyped behavior).

Methods: A principal component exploratory factor analysis routine with varimax-rotation and extraction of factors following the Scree criterion was run using data from the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) of N = 262 individuals exhibiting autism or autistic features.

Results: A three-factor solution consisting of two socio-communicative and one language dimension and accounting for 46.1% of the total variance was found to best describe the data. These factors yielded only vague correspondence with the idea of behavior domains described in ICD-10 and DSM-IV. In addition, factor loadings of items representing repetitive, stereotyped patterns were generally weak.

Conclusions: The factor-analytic approach to autism indicates a conception of the disorder divergent from that defined in the contemporary psychiatric classification systems, especially regarding the area of repetitive, stereotyped behavior.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / classification*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results