Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication and interaction and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Variations in prevalence across different racial and ethnic groups have been reported. Though the reason for these variations is unclear, racial and ethnic disparities in access to early screening services, cultural differences in ASD presentation, and the use of culturally insensitive screening tools appear to contribute to disparities in ASD diagnosis. Thus, cultural validation studies of ASD screening tools are needed to investigate the cultural utility of these instruments for use with diverse children at risk for ASD. The present study investigated the factor structure and measurement invariance of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT) in 2,063 children aged 17-37 months diagnosed with ASD. The three-factor, 15-item structure best fit the sample data across all three racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African American, Caucasian, Hispanic). Measurement invariance analyses revealed support for configural and metric invariance, but not scalar invariance, of the three-factor structure. This latter finding indicated measurement bias in at least one BISCUIT item, suggesting that parents/caregivers from different racial/ethnic groups conceptualized factor constructs of the BISCUIT differently. Implications for multicultural screening of young children at risk for ASD and recommendations for clinical and research practices are discussed.



Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 09, 2025