The Social Communication Questionnaire in a sample of the general population of school-going children

Ir J Med Sci. 2009 Jun;178(2):193-9. doi: 10.1007/s11845-008-0184-5. Epub 2008 Jul 24.


Background: The social communication questionnaire (SCQ) for autistic spectrum disorder was previously validated in clinical populations.

Aims: To describe the distribution of SCQ-scores in the general child population, and identify if traits from all domains of autism are present.

Methods: The SCQ was completed by parents of children attending a mixed-gender primary school of 240 children.

Results: Total SCQ scores ranged from 1 to 20, with a mode 1 and corrected mean of 3.89, SD = 2.77. SCQ items corresponding to all three domains of autism were found in the sample. Some items on the SCQ were answered as "autism-positive" for up to 41.8% of children in the general population sample.

Conclusions: The SCQ has a wide range in the general population, with traits from all three domains of autism. Some items in the SCQ do not discriminate children with autism from other school-going children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*