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cordes (4).doc - International Journal of Special Education...

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International Journal of Special Education 2004, Vol 19, No.2. ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER AND RATING SCALES WITH A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE CONNORS TEACHER RATING SCALE (1998) Matthew Cordes and T. F. McLaughlin Gonzaga University This paper explores the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) (ADHD). The use of rating scales to diagnose ADHD was evaluated. Rating scales have been used since the 1970’s and are highly influential in the detection of ADHD today. We also examined the advantages and disadvantages of using rating scales. Rating scales seem to change the percentage of individuals who meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD based on different age groups, gender, and ethnicity. Finally, the Conners Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS-R) (Conners, Sitarenios, Parker, & Epstein, 1998) was reviewed. The important changes in the revision of the Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised ( CTRS-R) were detailed. The use of the CTRS-R is recommended as part of a multi-faceted assessment to diagnose and evaluate treatment procedures for children and adolescents with ADHD. The original Conners’ Teacher Rating Scale (1968)was a 39-item rating scale used to determine the teacher’s view of a child’s behavior in the classroom (Conners, 1969). This scale was recently revised (CTRS-R) in 1998 (Conners, Sitarenios, Parker, & Epstein, 1998) and resulted in a 28-item scale. The revision of the original Conners’ Teacher Rating Scale was shortened to accommodate the administrator of the test so that the information would be more easily gathered. It has also changed from a 3 to 4 point Likert scale. This scale ranges from 0, not at all true, to 3, very true (Conners et al., 1998). 18 of the items on the CTRS-R were written to mirror closely the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. The rest of the items came from various tests such as the previous Conners’ which have been shown to have clinical utility (Brown, 1985; Satin, Winsberg, Monetti, Sverd, & Foss, 1985; Stein & O'Donnell, 1985) and reliability (Conners, 1969; Edelbrock, Greenbaum, & Conover, 1985; Epstein & Nieminen, 1983; Roberts, Milich, Loney, & Caputo, 1981; Zentall & Barack, 1979). There are also shortened versions of the original CTRS such as the IOWA Conners (Pelham, Milich, Murphy, & Murphy, 1989) and Abbreviated Symptom Questionnaire (Sprague & Sleator, 1973). These shorter versions are also very popular with teacher because of the brevity of time needed to complete the scale. In recent years the one of the most common reasons for referral to mental health practitioners in 23
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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION Vol 19, No.2. the United States has been the parents’ concern regarding their child and Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity (ADHD). ADHD is one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorders (Barkley, 1998; Hundhammer & McLaughlin, 2002). Around 19% of the American school children have some type of behavior problem. Half of these children have either a hyperactivity or inattention problem (Smucker, 2001). Thus ADHD has a high incidence of occurring with other problems (National Institute of Health, 2001). According to the Surgeon General's report, 3-
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