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01-12-2011 | Uitgave 4/2011

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 4/2011

The Structure and Nature of the Broader Autism Phenotype in a Non-clinical Sample

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 4/2011
Allison L. Wainer, Brooke R. Ingersoll, Christopher J. Hopwood


The broader autism phenotype (BAP) is a subclinical behavioral phenotype that is qualitatively similar to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Research on the BAP has used different conceptualizations of this construct. To more closely approximate the nature of the BAP, the current study utilized traditional construct validation methods to identify the BAP structure and characterize its nomological net in undergraduates. A conjoint exploratory factor analysis of the scales from three self-report measures of the construct was used to derive three robust BAP dimensions reflecting pragmatic language difficulties, aloofness, and rigidity. These dimensions were then correlated with theoretically-relevant personality, psychopathology, and interest variables in order to evaluate the criterion validity of the BAP. Correlations were generally consistent with our predictions and showed strongest relations between BAP dimensions and poor communication skills, impaired social functioning, and behavioral and cognitive rigidity. This research represents a first step in the identification and utilization of a common conceptualization of the BAP.

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