The construction and validation of an abridged version of the autism-spectrum quotient (AQ-Short)

J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 May;41(5):589-96. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1073-0.


This study reports on the development and validation of an abridged version of the 50-item Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report measure of autistic traits. We aimed to reduce the number of items whilst retaining high validity and a meaningful factor structure. The item reduction procedure was performed on data from 1,263 Dutch students and general population adults. The resulting 28-item AQ-Short was subsequently validated in 3 independent samples, both clinical and controls, from the Netherlands and the UK. The AQ-Short comprises two higher-order factors assessing 'social behavioral difficulties' and 'a fascination for numbers/patterns'. The clear factor structure of the AQ-Short and its high sensitivity and specificity make the AQ-Short a useful alternative to the full 50-item version.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Social Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult