Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Since autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were first identified, the diagnostic criteria and conceptualization of symptom structure have undergone many revisions. Currently, under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association (APA), 2000), ASD is defined by three symptom categories: impairments in socialization, deficits in communication, and repetitive/restricted behaviors. With the publication of the DSM-5 (APA, 2011), however, ASD will be defined by a two symptom cluster structure in which the main impairments are in the areas of social communication and restricted/repetitive behaviors. With these changes, many assessment measures will need to be re-examined to ensure they align with the new diagnostic criteria. As such, the purpose of the current study was to examine the structure of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT), a measure used to screen and diagnose ASD in children aged 17 to 37 months. For the first part of the study, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to replicate findings from a previous EFA study on the BISCUIT. The results of the current EFA were largely comparable to the previous findings. The results of the EFA were then used to assist in conducting more theory driven confirmatory factor analyses. These confirmatory analyses examined a two and three factor structure for the BISCUIT separately, and then also directly compared the two models. Measures of model fit supported both the two and three factor models relatively well. When directly compared, the three factor (DSM-IV-TR) model was found to be preferred over the two factor (DSM-5) model, though this finding should be interpreted with some caution. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of impact on the BISCUIT and changes to be expected with the new DSM-5.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.



Included in

Psychology Commons