Prior research indicates that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have deficits in face processing ability. The Victoria / Yale Face Processing Battery (VYFPB) is a comprehensive, computer-based face processing skills battery that assesses facial identity recognition including part/whole processing, eye/mouth processing, and facial expression recognition.
To develop a shortened version of the VYFPB and to examine the psychometric properties of both the original and shortened versions of the battery. The reliability of the original and shortened forms of the VYFPB was examined in individuals with ASD and typically developing individuals. The relative validity of the shortened form was assessed by comparing the between-group differences found using the two forms.
Participants were 55 high functioning children and adults with ASD and 103 typically developing individuals. The original form of the VYFPB was administered as previously described and reported (J. Wolf et al., IMFAR 2006 Abstracts, pg. 149). To shorten the battery, items with high item-total correlations and acceptable alphas were retained, while maintaining most of the original battery structure. This resulted in a battery that has 309 items compared to the original 570 items and takes approximately half as much time to administer.
Nearly all the scales for both the original and shortened forms demonstrated adequate to excellent reliability. Chronbach’s alpha’s for the scales of the original form ranged from .56 to .95; alpha’s for the shortened form ranged from .55 to .95. Previously reported (Wolf et al., 2006) significant between-group differences in part/whole processing, eye/mouth processing, and facial expression recognition were maintained with the shortened battery.
Both original and shortened forms of the VYFPB have clinical utility. The shortened form takes substantially less time to administer and appears to be nearly as effective at detecting face processing deficits in individuals with ASD.