Joint attention, or the shared focus of attention between objects or events and a social partner, is a crucial milestone in the development of social communication and a notable area of deficit in children with autism spectrum disorder. While valid parent-report screening measures of social communication are available, the majority of these measures are designed to assess a wide range of behaviors. Targeted assessment of joint attention and related skills is primarily limited to semi-structured, examiner-led interactions, which are time-consuming and laborious to score. The Pictorial Infant Communication Scale is an efficient parent-report measure of joint attention that can be used as a complement to structured assessments in fully characterizing early social communication development. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Pictorial Infant Communication Scale. Results revealed a high degree of internal consistency and strong intercorrelations between subscales. Additionally, confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor model of joint attention. Furthermore, significant correlations between the Pictorial Infant Communication Scale and direct clinical measures of child joint attention, language skills, and autism spectrum disorder symptom severity were suggestive of concurrent validity. Findings suggest that the Pictorial Infant Communication Scale is a promising tool for measuring joint attention skills in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.
- autism spectrum disorder
- coordinated joint attention
- parent report
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology