Validation of the social communication questionnaire amongst Nigerian adolescents

Eziafakaku Uchechukwu Nwokolo, Glynis H. Murphy, Peter E. Langdon

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Few autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening tools have been developed and validated in Africa. This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) when used with Nigerian adolescents. Parents and caregivers of two hundred and five adolescents completed the SCQ Lifetime form while the adolescents were assessed for ASD using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2). Factor structure and convergent and discriminative validity were examined, along with the sensitivity and specificity of the SCQ in identifying participants with an autism spectrum disorder. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the factor structure, while logistic regression and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to examine the validities. The SCQ had good internal consistency, discriminative, and convergent validity. A cut-off score of 10 revealed sensitivity = 0.81 and specificity = 0.88 for the identification of autism spectrum disorder. AUC was 0.83, p < 0.001, 95% CI [0.77, 0.90]. The results of this study provide evidence to support the retention of the original four factors of the SCQ. The SCQ has good psychometric properties when used with Nigerian adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalAutism Research
Issue number1
Early online date5 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • adolescent
  • Africa
  • autism
  • diagnosis
  • Nigeria
  • screening
  • social communication questionnaire (SCQ)

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