Journal of Intellectual Disability - Diagnosis and Treatment

Factor Structure of the Bulgarian CAST: (Childhood Autism Spectrum Test)
Pages 117-12888x31
Mila Vulchanova, Liubomir Djalev, Margarita Stankova, Valentin Vulchanov, Carrie Allison and Simon Baron-Cohen


Published: 28 July 2016


Abstract: The number of studies addressing the latent structure of specific screening and diagnostic tools for autism spectrum conditions is still limited. The current study explored the latent structure of the Bulgarian CAST (Childhood Autism Spectrum Test) in screening for autism in the Bulgarian population. The data were analysed using factor analyses. A hierarchical model with two primary factors yielded best data fit. This structure is consistent with the two main categories adopted in the DSM-5 and current accounts of the range of conditions broadly falling into two main clusters of symptoms. These results confirm the validity of CAST as a tool for screening for autism spectrum conditions in other cultures and support the construct validity of the model and criteria included in the DSM-5. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how factor analysis can be exploited to reveal the underlying structure of screening tools aimed at capturing the behavioural traits of deficit phenotypes.

Keywords: Autism, screening tests, factor analysis, factor structure, latent structure

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