Date of Award:

1997

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Kenneth W. Merrell

Abstract

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequent problems for which children are referred to mental health clinics in the United States, affecting approximately 3-5% of the childhood population. Although adequate Ill assessment and identification of this disorder is imperative, most of the currently existing rating scales available to assess for ADHD in the childhood population are inadequate. The present research study involved the investigation of the factor structure and psychometric properties of a new behavior rating scale, the ADHD Symptoms Rating Scale (ADHD-SRS), developed for the assessment of ADHD in the school-age (K-12) population.

The participants in this study were 753 children and adolescents (in grades K-12) who were rated by their parents and/or teachers on behavior rating scales designed to measure ADHD characteristics. The results of this research indicate that the ADHD-SRS possesses strong internal consistency. Convergent validity of this instrument was also high. as demonstrated by correlations with two previously validated behavior rating scales. Significant age and gender differences in ADHD symptoms were found with both the parent and teacher respondent populations. The temporal stability of this measure with teacher ratings was low. as was the correlation between parent and teacher ratings of the same children with this instrument. Finally, the factor analysis of the ADHD-SRS suggested a two-factor oblique rotation as the best fit for both the parent and teacher data. After a visual inspection of the items that loaded on each factor, Factor 1 was named Hyperactive-Impulsive and Factor 2 was named Inattention. These two factors, along with the items that loaded on each factor, appear to be remarkably similar to the two categories listed in the DSM-IV for ADHD. Directions for future research. as well as clinical implications and limitations of the current study, are discussed.

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