Title

Brief report: Validity and reliability of the Nigerian Autism Screening Questionnaire

Document Type

Article

Department

Institute for Human Development

Abstract

Informant-report measures for screening symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are needed for low-resource settings if early identification is to be prioritized because early developmental concerns are likely to be expressed by parents and other caregivers. This paper describes the initial psychometric evaluation of the Nigeria Autism Screening Questionnaire (NASQ). Parents and other caregivers completed the NASQ on 12,311 children ages 1 to 18 in a Nigerian population sample as part of the World Bank National General Household Survey conducted in the country in 2016. Factor analyses indicated a parsimonious three-factor structure with social communication/interaction, repetitive sensory motor, and insistence on sameness dimensions. Measurement invariance was excellent across age and sex. Reliability of the subscales and total scale was good, and item response theory analyses indicated good measurement precision in the range from below average to high scores, crucial for screening, and tracking ASD symptoms. Studies with gold standard ASD diagnostic instruments and clinical confirmation are needed to evaluate screening and diagnostic accuracy. The NASQ appears to be a reliable instrument with a clear factor structure and potential for use in screening and tracking ASD symptoms in future Nigerian samples.

Publication

Autism

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