Interpreting the Relation of Internal Behavior, External Behavior, Academic Behavior, and Social Behaviors in Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ABSTRACTInterpreting the Relation of Internal Behavior, External Behavior, Academic Behavior, and Social Behaviors in Students Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderByShedeh HajghassemaliMajor Professor John J. Convey, Ph.D. DirectorProfessionals who diagnose ADHD must follow the criteria set forth by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. They not only base their evaluation on characteristic behaviors, but also on a series of medical, behavioral, and educational assessments. The National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder was a multisite study designed to evaluate the primary treatments for ADHD. The NIMH database was created from a large number of assessments that were given to children/adolescent, parents and teachers. The Conners, SNAP-IV and Harter were the only measures completed by all three groups. The purpose of this study was to determine if the responses to the three assessments from adolescents, parents and teachers resulted in four behavioral constructs: Academic, Behavioral, Emotional, and Social. The results of a factor analysis identified Social Behavior in all assessment, and Academic Behavior was observed in all the assessments, except for teachers on the Harter. The Internal Behavior construct was only evident in the adolescent assessment for the Connors and the SNAP-IV. External Behavior was evident in all the parent assessments as well as on two of the adolescent assessments, the Connors and SNAP-IV. The assessments of adolescents had commonalities in Social and Academic Behavior. The assessments completed by parents had three similar constructs: Academic, Social, and External Behavior; while those completed by teachers had only two common constructs: Academic and External Behavior. A multitrait-multimethod matrix analysis showed a lack of convergent or discriminant validity for the constructs across all assessments. Examination of the scores from the Conners and SNAP-IV Adolescent assessments illustrated only moderate agreement in classifying adolescents as having ADHD and Hyperactivity. The results of the study provided another perspective in examining ADHD rating scales that may assist in not only improving psychological assessments but also with the development of a more accurate form of diagnosis.
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