Introduction: Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show poor independence in daily activities. Unlike existing instruments, the innovative self-report Daily Routine and Autonomy questionnaire (DRA) addresses their level of and desire for independence in activities throughout a full daily routine. This study describes the DRA development, explores its psychometric properties and internal consistency reliability using full-information factor analysis (FIFA), and identifies levels of and desire for independence among adolescents with ASD.
Methods: Seventy-two Israeli adolescents with ASD (58 boys and 14 girls) aged 11-19 years (M = 14.59, SD = 1.61) completed the DRA. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS and R. Internal consistency reliability, FIFA, Spearman's correlations, t-tests, and Wilcoxon signed-rank were conducted to assess relationships and differences between the DRA parts.
Results: The FIFA revealed three factors with high sum-of-squared loadings (4.09-5.13). Of the 31 DRA items, 28 had factor loadings higher than 0.35 and were retained in the study questionnaire. The DRA had moderate-to-high internal reliability for factors (α = 0.65-0.84) and total scores (α = 0.86-0.90). Participants showed partial independence in most daily activities, with high desire for independence in social and leisure activities. Significant gaps in half of the DRA items indicate the participants' desire for independence was significantly higher than their independence level.
Conclusion: The DRA provides crucial information about levels of and desire for autonomy that can be used to promote participation of adolescents with ASD in setting their own goals for independent living.
Keywords: Adolescence; Autism spectrum disorder; Daily activity; Full-information factor analysis; Independence.
Copyright © 2020 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of competing interest The Authors declares that there is no conflict of interest.
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