How many fidgets in a pretty much: A critique of behavior rating scales for identifying students with ADHD

Robert Reid, John W. Maag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The school psychologist's role and responsibilities for meeting the needs of students with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have been expanding in recent years. Students with this disorder present refractory problems that may involve the school psychologist in the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD. Rating scales commonly are used, sometimes in conjunction with other techniques, for assessing and diagnosing ADHD. They often are presented as an objective way to quantify the severity of a child's behavior in comparison with a normative standard. Because rating scales have become such an integral component in the identification of children with ADHD, school psychologists should understand the limitations associated with this methodology. In this article we first describe behavior rating scales and difficulties in the use of cutoff scores to identify students as ADHD. Second, we describe how problems with interobserver agreement hamper the validity of rating scales and the subsequent conclusions that can be drawn about students' behavior. Finally, we present recommendations for obtaining more reliable and valid information from rating scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Fingerprint

ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
rating scale
school psychologist
Students
Psychology
student
Child Behavior
Behavior Rating Scale
responsibility
present
methodology

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Attention disorders
  • Behavioral rating scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

How many fidgets in a pretty much : A critique of behavior rating scales for identifying students with ADHD. / Reid, Robert; Maag, John W.

In: Journal of School Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 4, 01.01.1994, p. 339-354.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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