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Measuring repetitive behaviours across the lifespan

Young child lining up cars on a sofa.

Researchers at Cardiff University's Wales Autism Research Centre have created a questionnaire that is an internationally recognised measure for repetitive behaviours.

The Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire-3 (RBQ-3) has been translated into many languages. It is used widely in clinical practice across the world, as well as by researchers and the general population.

Repetitive behaviours are part of the diagnostic criteria for autism and include motor behaivours, routines, sensory responses, focused interests, and preference for sameness. Importantly, these behaviours are also found in the general population particularly in young children, in other neurodevelopmental conditions, and in neuropsychiatric conditions.

Cardiff University researchers have been at the forefront of research on repetitive behaviour since 2007. The original Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2) a parent-report measure and the Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2A (RBQ-2A), a self-report version for young people and adults were developed in collaboration with colleagues at Durham University and Newcastle University. The RBQ-3 is a new and improved version.

“The RBQ-3 is an important tool for helping better understand the pattern of repetitive behaviours in autistic people, as well as in the wider population.”
Dr Catherine Jones Reader and Director of Wales Autism Research Centre

Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire-3 (RBQ-3)

The development of the RBQ-3 has been led by researchers at Cardiff University, supported by collaborators at Aston University, UK, Stanford University, USA and Newcastle University, UK. The RBQ-3 replaces the RBQ-2 and RBQ-2A. It was created in response to clinicians' and researchers' requests for two improvements to the existing measures:

  1. They wanted a ‘lifetime’ questionnaire that could measure repetitive behaviours throughout the lifespan, with questions that were appropriate for both children and adults.
  2. They wanted a measure that could be used for both self-report and for report by a parent or caregiver (other-report).

The Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-3 (RBQ-3) fulfils both of these criteria and will enable greater flexibility to clinicians wanting to understand a person’s profile of repetitive behaviours.

It will also open up greater opportunities to researchers wanting to measure repetitive behaviours, particularly in longitudinal studies. The self- and other-report versions can be used together when cross-informant comparison is relevant.

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Download the questionnaire

The repetitive behaviours questionnaires have been in high demand internationally and have been translated into many languages. The RBQ-3 is currently available in Chinese, German, Persian, Spanish and Turkish.

Clinicians, practitioners, researchers and others interested in accessing the RBQ-3 can download it for free. Legacy copies of the RBQ-2 and RBQ-2A are also available through the same link.

Access the Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire-3 (RBQ-3)

You can also access the RBQ-2, RBQ-2A and the original RBQ through the team's collaborators at Newcastle University.

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