Bengali translation and characterisation of four cognitive and trait measures for autism spectrum conditions in India

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Abstract

Background: Autism is characterised by atypical social-communicative behaviour and restricted range of interests and repetitive behaviours. These features exist in a continuum in the general population. Behavioural measures validated across cultures and languages are required to quantify the dimensional traits of autism in these social and non-social domains. Bengali is the seventh most spoken language in the world. However, there is a serious dearth of data on standard measures of autism-related social and visual cognition in Bengali. Methods: Bengali translations of two measures related to social-communicative functioning (the Children's Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET) and a facial emotion recognition test with stimuli taken from the Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces database), one measure of visual perceptual disembedding (the Embedded Figures Test), and a questionnaire measure (the Children's Empathy Quotient) were tested in 25 children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and 26 control children (mean age = 10.7 years) in Kolkata, India. Group differences were analysed by t test and multiple regression (after accounting for potential effects of gender, IQ, and age). Results: Behavioural and trait measures were associated with group differences in the expected directions: ASC children scored lower on the Children's Empathy Quotient and the RMET, as well as on facial emotion recognition, but were faster and more accurate on the Embedded Figures Test. Distributional properties of these measures within groups are similar to those reported in Western countries. Conclusions: These results provide an empirical demonstration of cross-cultural generalisability and applicability of these standard behavioural and trait measures related to autism, in a major world language.

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Rudra, A., Ram, J. R., Loucas, T., Belmonte, M. K., & Chakrabarti, B. (2016). Bengali translation and characterisation of four cognitive and trait measures for autism spectrum conditions in India. Molecular Autism, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-016-0111-y

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