Improved characterization of quantitative traits and dimensionally distributed complex behaviors during toddlerhood may improve early identification of autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Parents of 205 community-ascertained toddlers (age: mean = 20.2, SD = 2.6 months) completed the Repetitive Behavior Scales for Early Childhood (RBS-EC) and the Video-Referenced Rating of Reciprocal Social Behavior (vrRSB), with longitudinal follow-up of behavioral assessments and/or another round of parent-report questionnaires. Criterion validity was examined both concurrently and longitudinally using the Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment (ITSEA) as a criterion anchor. Reciprocal social behavior as measured by the vrRSB was significantly associated with social competence as measured by the ITSEA, longitudinally and concurrently. Reciprocal social behavior was not associated with the externalizing subscale on the ITSEA, providing evidence of discriminant validity. Higher-order repetitive behaviors (restricted interests; rituals and routines) as measured by RBS-EC subscales were associated with the dysregulation and internalizing subscales of the ITSEA, longitudinally and concurrently. All RBS-EC subscales (excepting repetitive motor) were associated concurrently and longitudinally with the dysregulation subscale of the ITSEA. We report evidence of criterion-oriented and discriminant validity for the constructs/domains captured by the RBS-EC and vrRSB. These instruments may be particularly useful in characterizing dimensional variability across the typical-to-atypical continuum.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial Support. CL was funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, JJW was funded by NIMH K01 MH101653, and JTE was funded by R01 MH104324. CL & JTE had full access to the data and take full responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Data is available from JTE upon request. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
- criterion validity
- reciprocal social behavior
- repetitive behavior
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural