Animal studies elucidating the neurobiology of fragile X syndrome (FXS) have led to multiple controlled trials in humans, with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community (ABC-C) commonly adopted as a primary outcome measure. A multi-site collaboration examined the psychometric properties of the ABC-C in 630 individuals (ages 3–25) with FXS using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Results support a six-factor structure, with one factor unchanged (Inappropriate Speech), four modified (Irritability, Hyperactivity, Lethargy/Withdrawal, and Stereotypy), and a new Social Avoidance factor. A comparison with ABC-C data from individuals with general intellectual disability and a list of commonly endorsed items are also reported. Reformulated ABC-C scores based on this FXS-specific factor structure may provide added outcome measure specificity and sensitivity in FXS clinical trials.
Keywords: FMR1 gene, Fragile X syndrome, Autism, Factor analysis, Rating scale, Social avoidance