The Double Interview Task: Assessing the Social Communication of Children with Asperger Syndrome

Data Collection and Coding

The researcher videotaped all interviews using a VHS camera. The interview was recorded and later transcribed by the researcher. Because the purpose of the study was to examine the participants' social communication, only the portion of the tape when the participant was the interviewer was transcribed. The interview was transcribed and entered into the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) software (Language Analysis Laboratory University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1984). The transcription of the interview was then coded using specific parameters adapted from Winner (2002). The codes and their definitions are listed in Table 3. See Appendix F for examples of the codes.

Table 3

Definitions of Error Codes

Comment Only [CO]
The individual comments on what he knows rather than formulating questions about what he wants to find out.

Personal Interest [PI]

The individual asks questions or gives comments that relate to himself or his interests.

The child takes more than one conversational turn relating to his/her personal interest.

Difficulty Formulating Questions [FQ]

The individual has difficulty formulating questions to ask the evaluator. This is signaled by sighs of frustration with the activity, awkward silence of more than 2.3 seconds or verbalizing that they are unable to think of questions.

Shallow Question [SQ]
The question asked is a closed-ended question, which does not solicit deeper information about the interviewee. The individual fails to provide a follow-up question about the same topic. This code is given to describe the quality of the child's question.

Diverts Topic [DT]
The individual diverts the topic to his own experiences, making comments about himself. He takes more than one conversational turn relating to his personal interest.

Repeated Question [RQ]
The individual asks the researcher the same questions asked of him. The questions include:

  1. Who is your teacher?
  2. What is your favorite thing to do in school?
  3. How do other kids at school treat you? What do you do if someone is not being nice? How do you know when they are not being nice? Who are your friends at school? What do you like to do with them?
  4. When you are in class what do you like to study the most? Least?
  5. What are your hobbies?
  6. What do you like to spend most of your time doing? (Alternate question: What did you do at home yesterday?)
  7. Who lives in your house? What are their hobbies?
  8. What do you have to do at home that you dislike?
  9. Do you ever feel embarrassed? What makes you feel embarrassed?
  10. Do you have any pets?
  11. What chores do you do at home?
  12. Who do you play with or hang out with at home? Do you have any neighborhood friends? What do you like to do with them?

Revision [R]
The individual uses false starts and self-interruptions, which change the direction of the question. The revision code is given when the individual uses two or more false starts.

Unclear Question [UQ]
The individual asks a question that is unclear in meaning resulting in the researcher asking for clarification.

Redirected [RD]
The child is redirected after pauses longer than 3 seconds or to bring the child's focus back to asking questions. After the examiner has redirected the child, the [RD] code is placed after the child's next question.