Rating scale assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD): Is there a normal distribution and does it matter?

Daniel Waschbusch, Sandra J. Sparkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


A behavior rating scale for evaluating both exceptionally high and exceptionally low levels of ADHD and ODD symptoms was developed. Mothers, fathers, and teachers in seven elementary schools completed ratings. Resulting data were psychometrically sound, with high internal consistency and test-retest reliability and evidence of factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity. About 25% of children were rated by mothers, fathers, and teachers as having lower than average levels of ADHD, and about 50% were rated as having lower than average ODD symptoms. Children with moderate and severe levels of ADHD and ODD differed from other children on measures of symptom impairment, need for treatment, quality of teacher-student relationship, and peer nominations. Children with exceptionally low levels of ADHD and ODD differed from children with average levels of ADHD and ODD on teacher-completed measures but less so on peer-completed measures. Advantages of evaluating both lower and higher levels of ADHD and ODD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-281
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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