Parent-Endorsed Sex Differences in Toddlers with and Without ASD: Utilizing the M-CHAT.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sex differences in typical development can provide context for understanding ASD. Baron-Cohen (Trends Cogn Sci 6(6):248-254, 2002) suggested ASD could be considered an extreme expression of normal male, compared to female, phenotypic profiles. In this paper, sex-specific M-CHAT scores from N = 53,728 18-month-old toddlers, including n = 185 (32 females) with ASD, were examined. Results suggest a nuanced view of the "extreme male brain theory of autism". At an item level, almost every male versus female disadvantage in the broader population was consistent with M-CHAT vulnerabilities in ASD. However, controlling for total M-CHAT failures, this male disadvantage was more equivocal and many classically ASD-associated features were found more common in non-ASD. Within ASD, females showed relative strengths in joint attention, but impairments in imitation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Øien, RA; Hart, L; Schjølberg, S; Wall, CA; Kim, ES; Nordahl-Hansen, A; Eisemann, MR; Chawarska, K; Volkmar, FR; Shic, F

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 126 - 134

PubMed ID

  • 27757737

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5222910

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3432

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0162-3257

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10803-016-2945-8


  • eng