Factor analysis of restricted and repetitive behaviors in autism using the autism diagnostic interview-R

Michael L. Cuccaro, Yujan Shao, Janet Grubber, Michael Slifer, Chantelle M. Wolpert, Shannon L. Donnelly, Ruth K. Abramson, Sarah A. Ravan, Harry H. Wright, G. Robert DeLong, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


The current study examined the factor structure of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRB) in children with autism. Factor extraction procedures of 12 items from the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) were applied in N = 207 individuals with autism. Two interpretable factors were identified: Factor 1-repetitive sensory motor actions and Factor 2-resistance to change. There was a significant negative correlation between an index of level of adaptive functioning and Factor 1. Intraclass correlations were not significant for either factor in a subset of families with two or more siblings with autism (multiplex). No differences in scores were apparent for either factor when multiplex families and families containing only one affected individual with autism (singleton) were compared. RRB in autism are represented by two distinct factors which may reflect two separate groups within autism. Defining subgroups within autism will allow for reduction of clinical heterogeneity and enhance our ability to dissect the genetic etiology of this complex disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Factor analysis
  • Repetitive behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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