Child, maternal and demographic factors influencing caregiver-reported autistic trait symptomatology in toddlers

D. A. Goh, D. Gan, J. Kung, S. Baron-Cohen, C. Allison, H. Chen, S. M. Saw, Y. S. Chong, V. S. Rajadurai, K. H. Tan, P. C.L. Shek, F. Yap, B. F.P. Broekman, I. Magiati

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Current research on children’s autistic traits in the general population relies predominantly on caregiver-report, yet the extent to which individual, caregiver or demographic characteristics are associated with informants’ ratings has not been sufficiently explored. In this study, caregivers of 396 Singaporean two-year-olds from a birth cohort study completed the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. Children’s gender, cognitive functioning and birth order, maternal age, and ethnic group membership were not significant predictors of caregiver-reported autistic traits. Poorer child language development and higher maternal depressive symptoms significantly predicted more social-communicative autistic traits, while lower maternal education predicted more behavioural autistic traits. Children’s language and informants’ educational level and depressive symptomatology may need to be considered in caregiver-reports of autistic traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1337
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Autistic traits
  • Child
  • Demographic
  • Informant
  • Measurement
  • Predictors

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