Am I Autistic? Utility of the Girls Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Condition as an Autism Assessment in Adult Women

Brown, Claire M., Attwood, Tony, Garnett, Michelle and Stokes, Mark A. 2020, Am I Autistic? Utility of the Girls Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Condition as an Autism Assessment in Adult Women, Autism in Adulthood, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 216-226, doi: 10.1089/aut.2019.0054.

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Title Am I Autistic? Utility of the Girls Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Condition as an Autism Assessment in Adult Women
Author(s) Brown, Claire M.
Attwood, Tony
Garnett, Michelle
Stokes, Mark A.ORCID iD for Stokes, Mark A.
Journal name Autism in Adulthood
Volume number 2
Issue number 3
Start page 216
End page 226
Total pages 11
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert Inc
Place of publication New Rochelle, N.Y.
Publication date 2020-09-03
ISSN 2573-9581
Keyword(s) autistic
Summary This study aimed to explore the structure of a modified version of the Girls Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Condition (GQ-ASC; Attwood et al. 2011) to test its utility as an autism screening measure for adult women. We recruited 672 cisgender and trans women aged between 18 and 72 online. The sample contained 350 autistic women (M age = 36.21, standard deviation [SD] = 10.10) and 322 nonautistic women (M age = 34.83, SD = 9.93), screened using the Autism Quotient. A principal component analysis and parallel analysis revealed a five-component solution that accounted for 40.40% of the total variance. The extracted components appear to be consistent with what is known about the way girls and women display their autistic traits and interpreted as (1) Imagination and play: Describes interest in fantasy, fiction, and reflection on the quality and content of imaginative play in childhood. (2) Camouflaging: Describes effortful attempts to reduce the visibility of autistic traits. (3) Sensory sensitivities: Describes sensory processing hyper- and hyposensitivities across various modalities. (4) Socializing: Describes barriers to social understanding and participation. (5) Interests: Describes age-advanced and nonstereotypically feminine interests. We observed significant differences between autistic and nonautistic women across all extracted components, and the total score. A receiver operating characteristic analysis indicated an excellent level of discrimination. When applying a cutoff score of 57, the GQ-ASC correctly identified 80.0% of cases. The modified GQ-ASC is an effective and highly discriminant screening tool for use in adult autistic women. It provides valuable insight into the shared features and experiences of this underrecognized and underrepresented subset of the autistic community.
Language eng
DOI 10.1089/aut.2019.0054
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2020, Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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