Mexican Child Psychiatry Hospitals and Primary Health Services need validated reliable instruments for identifying autism spectrum disorders. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) questionnaire is a brief measure available in Spanish which needs to be tested and validated for use in Mexican population.
To examine suitability of M-CHAT Mexican version, and to analyze reliability, concurrent and construct validity in children from two settings: general population and a group of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) attending Child Psychiatry Hospital Dr. Juan N. Navarro
Parents of Mexican children from two different settings: 1) community with typical development (TD) and 2) Child Psychiatry Hospital outpatient unit completed the CBCL1.5-5 and the Mexican version M-CHAT. The ASD group was diagnosed with ADI-R as part of their routine assessment process.
The study sample consisted of 456 children with an age range of 1 to 6 years old (M: 4.46 SD 1.12). Of these, 339 (74.34%) were children with typical development (TD) and 117 (26.65%) with ASD. Both groups had very similar for SES, maternal, paternal and children’s age. The ASD group had a higher percentage of male compared to the TD group (p=<.001). The CHAT mean score for failed critical items for the ASD group was 6.66 (SD 4.21) and for TD group was 3.27 (SD 2.19) (p=<.0001). The results remained significant even after dividing the groups by age from1 to 3 and 4 to 6 years. The internal consistency for the Mexican M-CHAT version was .76 for the total score (23 items) and .70 for the 6 critical items. The M-CHAT correlations were high with two ADI-R dimensions: B (non- verbal) dimension (r=.665, p=0.01) and A dimension (r=.61, p=0.01). Moderate correlations were obtained for ADI-R dimensions B1 Verbal (r=.23, p=ns) and C (r=.36, p=0.01). Correlations were also high for the CBCL1.5/PDD (r=.53, p=0.01) and the Withdrawn subscale (r=.636, p=0.01). Items 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22 were identified as critical through discriminant analysis. Item 14 was also identified by the original CHAT, and item 10 was identified in the Chinese study. Items 17 and 21 were similar to the Japanese study.
M-CHAT could discriminate between ASD and TD group. The instrument show moderate internal consistency. However our results support evidence for cultural differences in items response, making difficult to compare results internationally.
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