Distributional Properties and Criterion Validity of a Shortened Version of the Social Responsiveness Scale: Results from the ECHO Program and Implications for Social Communication Research

on behalf of program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes

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4 Scopus citations


Prior work proposed a shortened version of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a commonly used quantitative measure of social communication traits. We used data from 3031 participants (including 190 ASD cases) from the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program to compare distributional properties and criterion validity of 16-item “short” to 65-item “full” SRS scores. Results demonstrated highly overlapping distributions of short and full scores. Both scores separated case from non-case individuals by approximately two standard deviations. ASD prediction was nearly identical for short and full scores (area under the curve values of 0.87, 0.86 respectively). Findings support comparability of shortened and full scores, suggesting opportunities to increase efficiency. Future work should confirm additional psychometric properties of short scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2253
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number7
Early online dateSep 17 2020
StatePublished - Sep 17 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health, under Award Number U2COD023375 (Coordinating Center), U24OD023382 (Data Analysis Center), as well as 1U2COD023375-02 (Lyall), UH3OD023342 (Newschaffer), UH3OD023275 (Karagas), UG3/UH3OD023365 (Hertz-Picciotto), 5UH3OD023348-04 (O’Shea), 1U24OD023319-01 (Gershon & Cella), 1UG3OD023271-01 and 4UH3OD023271-03 (Karr), 1UG3OD023305-01 and 4UH3OD023305-03 (Trasande), UG3/UH3OD023328 (Duarte); UG3/UH3OD023286 (Oken). Funding support for original data collections was also received from the NIH under R01MH068398 (Ozonoff), R01HD055741 (Piven); R01ES016863 (Swan), R01ES25169 (Swan); from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences under P01ES022832 and US EPA US EPA: RD83544201 (Karagas), and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development under R01HD057284 (Messinger and Stone). Acknowledgements

Funding Information:
ECHO Collaborators. The authors wish to thank our ECHO colleagues, the medical, nursing and program staff, as well as the children and families participating in the ECHO cohorts. ECHO Components-Coordinating Center: Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina: Benjamin DK, Smith PB, Newby KL; Data Analysis Center: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland: Jacobson LP; Research Triangle Institute, Durham, North Carolina: Parker CB; Person-reported Outcomes-Core: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois: Gershon R, Cella D; Children?s Health and Exposure Analysis Resource: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, New York: Teitelbaum S; Wright RO; Wadsworth Center, Albany, New York : Aldous, KM, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina : Fennell T; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota : Hecht SS, Peterson L; Westat, Inc., Rockville, Maryland: O?Brien B; Idea States Network: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock : Lee JY, Snowden J. ECHO Awardees and Cohorts (see also Online Resource Table 1): The following awards contributed data to this manuscript: Columbia University, New York, NY: Duarte C; University of California, Davis, CA: Hertz-Picciotto I; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH: Karagas M; University of Washington, Seattle, WA: Karr K and Trasande L; Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA : Newschaffer C; Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Boston MA: Oken E; and the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina: O?Shea M. We would also like to recognize the contributions of our collaborators, including SH Swan, ES Barrett, RHN Nguyen (TIDES study PIs). Dr Constantino reported having received royalties from Western Psychological Services from the distribution of the SRS. No other disclosures were reported. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Quantitative traits
  • Social Responsiveness Scale
  • Social communication


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