Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties of an Arabic Version of the Autism Knowledge Questionnaire
The Autism Knowledge Questionnaire (AKQ) was originally developed by Stone (1987) and then modified by Schwart and Drager (2008). The updated version included 20-items that aimed to assess professionals and parents knowledge about etiology, diagnosis, and specific features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A four point Likert-type scale (1- Strongly agree, 2- Agree, 3- Disagree, 4-Strongly disagree) is used to respond to the items. Previous research has demonstrated the reliability and validity of this measure in Western countries (e.g., United State; Heidgerken, Geffken, Modi & Frakey, 2005). Yet, no attempt has been made to validate this instrument in Arab world countries.
The purpose of this study was to adopt and examine the psychometric properties of the AKQ among parents of children with ASD in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
A total of 205 caregivers, mostly fathers (61%), of children with ASD and were younger than 21 (M = 8.0; 3.5 SD) years completed an online survey including the AKQ (See table 1 for sample characteristics). Exploratry factor anaylsis was used. The Principal Axis Factoring extraction method was selected due to the skewedness of data while Promax rotation method was used as factors were correlated (Costello & Osborne, 2005). The scree plot with the exclusion of the inflexion point’s criterion was used to determine the number of factors (Field, 2013).
Of the 20 items, only 12 items underlie four factors. These factors included: Criteria Necessary To Be Diagnosed With Autism (CN), Descriptive Features (DF), Cognitive Features (CF), and Social Communication Features (SCF). Regarding reliability, Cronbach’s alphas for the CN, DF, CF and SCF were 0.67, 0.48, 0.50, and 0.52, respectively. The Cronbach’s alphas of these subscales were deemed sufficient, as the instrument is in an early stage of investigation (Field, 2013).
The AKQ was adopted into Arabic and resulted in excluding some items. However, the modified questionnaire is more suitable to examine parents’ knowledge of ASD in the Arab world.