The Predictive Validity of Parent and Teacher Reports of ADHD Symptoms

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Abstract

The objectives were to evaluate the ability of the Inattention and Hyperactivity–Impulsivity factors of the ADHD Rating Scale-IV to differentiate children with ADHD from a control group and to discriminate children with different subtypes of ADHD. Also, we sought to determine optimal cutoff scores on the teacher and parent versions of this scale for making diagnostic decisions about ADHD. In a sample of 92 boys and girls 6 to 14 years of age referred to a regional ADHD program, we assessed ADHD diagnostic status using categorical and dimensional approaches as well as parent- and teacher-report measures. Logistic regression analyses showed that the Inattention and Hyperactivity–Impulsivity factors of the ADHD Rating Scale-IV were effective in discriminating children with ADHD from a control group and differentiating children with ADHD, Combined Type from ADHD, Inattentive Type. Although both teacher and parent ratings were significantly predictive of diagnostic status, teacher ratings made a stronger contribution to the prediction of subtype membership. Using symptom utility estimates, optimal cutoff scores on the Inattention and Hyperactivity–Impulsivity scales for predicting subtypes of ADHD were determined.

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