The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) is a common screening tool for autism spectrum disorder. Given its wide use, as well as recent changes to diagnostic criteria for autism, there is a need to evaluate whether the SCQ maps onto the social communication and interaction, and repetitive behaviour and restricted interests domains specified in the revised criteria in DSM-5.
Participants included 294 preschool aged autistic children. Confirmatory factor analysis was implemented to evaluate the factor structure of the SCQ.
None of the models evaluated provided an adequate fit to the data. However, the best fitting model mapped onto the previous DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for autism.
The SCQ does not align with the new DSM-5 domains. More research is needed to evaluate the factor structure of the SCQ in different populations of autistic children in order to determine its current validity as a screening tool.