International Meeting for Autism Research: The Association Between the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) with Measures of Global Intelligence and Adaptive Functioning In the Assessment of Children with ASDs

The Association Between the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) with Measures of Global Intelligence and Adaptive Functioning In the Assessment of Children with ASDs

Friday, May 13, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
3:00 PM
N. Gjolaj, C. Wolfe-Christensen, M. Palance, B. Gorka, A. Veenstra and M. E. Behen, Autism Center, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI

The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a parent-report screening measure of autistic traits in individuals between the ages of 4 and 18, has been widely used in both clinical and research settings to assess the degree of social impairments specific to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Early studies of the measure revealed that the SRS total score was independent of global cognitive functioning.  However, there has been relatively little research that has examined the relationship of the SRS subscales to overall level of cognitive functioning.  Further, given the difficulties of reliable assessment of children with ASDs, evaluation of the relationship of the SRS subscales to an alternative measure of overall functioning may also be warranted.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship of global and specific intellectual indices and adaptive behavior functioning to the SRS total score and subscales.


One hunderd and seventeen children (24 females; 92 males) between the ages of 48 and 312 months (mean= 93.43 ; sd= 38.80) with diagnoses of ASDs were underwent comprehensive psychological evaluations, including assessment of cognitive functioning (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition [WISC-IV], Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition [WPPSI-III]), adaptive functioning (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition [Vineland-2]), and caregiver report on the magnitude of autism symptoms (Social Responsiveness Scale [SRS]).  Pearson bivariate correlations were used to evaluate the magnitude of relationships between the SRS total score, and subdomains with intellectual indices (VIQ, PIQ, FSIQ) and adaptive behavior domain scores.


Overall, results indicated that intelligence indices were independent of SRS Total score and subdomains. However, SRS scores were associated with Vineland-2 indices. Total scores on the SRS were significantly correlated with Vineland-2 domains in the areas of Communication (r=-.471, p=.001), Socialization (r=-.634, p=.000), and the Adaptive Behavior Composite (r=-.516, p=.000). Additionally, SRS subscales were significantly inversely related to Vineland-2 domains in all areas with the exception of Motor Skills.  In particular, associations were observed between the Vineland-2 Communication composite and three SRS subscales (Social Communication r= - .416, p=.002; SRS Social Motivation r= -.540, p=.000; SRS Autistic Mannerisms r= - .332, p=.034). Daily Functioning Skills according to the Vineland-2 were found to be negatively associated with the SRS Motivation subscale (r= - .469, p=.000). Finally, the Socialization domain of the Vineland-2 was found to be inversely related to four domains of the SRS (Autistic Mannerisms r= -.569, p=.000; Social Cognition r= -321, p=.020; Social Communication r=-.552, p=.000; Social Motivation r= -.469, p=.000).


In conclusion, results suggest that the SRS, although unrelated to intellectual functioning, is associated with overall level of adaptive behavior functioning, which in children with pervasive developmental disorders, may represent a more psychometrically sound metric of overall level of functioning than global IQ (Perry & Factor, 1989).

| More