EVALUATING PARENT-TEACHER AGREEMENT IN THE RATING OF ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER BEHAVIOR TO IMPROVE DIAGNOSTIC ACCURACY

Open Access
Author:
Bakshi, Shinjini
Area of Honors:
Psychology
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Cynthia Huang Pollock, Thesis Supervisor
  • Cynthia Huang Pollock, Honors Advisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • ADHD
  • Diagnostic Accuracy
  • Internalizing
  • Externalizing
Abstract:
Objective: Clinicians often use multiple informants to obtain a wealth of information prior to making diagnostic and treatment decisions for various mental health conditions. Specifically, the assessment and diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder relies heavily on ratings from multiple informants on child behavior. Levels of agreement between informants, such as parents and teachers, is, however, relatively low. Little is known about the benefits/limitations of using multiple informants on behavior rating scales and whether or not the level of agreement in ratings yields meaningful information This project aims to examine parent and teacher agreement in children with and without ADHD. Methods: 500 participants, ages 8-12, were given diagnostic statuses as having ADHD or being a Control. Parent and Teacher agreement on the internalizing and externalizing T-scores on the BASC-2 were compared to study informant agreement. Results: The type of BASC problem being reported significantly effects parent-teacher agreement. Agreement increases when reporting externalizing compared to internalizing problems. Diagnostic status significantly effects parent-teacher agreement of externalizing and internalizing problem, such that children with the ADHD diagnostic status had less parent-teacher agreement of externalizing and internalizing problems, than children with the Control status. There was a significant positive correlation of P/T agreement on EP and IP in which children whose parents and teachers disagreed on the child’s internalizing problems also tended to disagree on the child’s externalizing problems. Conclusion: Using multiple informant reports from behavioral checklists, such as the BASC-2, allows for a comprehensive diagnostic assessment. Levels of agreement between raters can go on to influence treatment methods.