School Psychology Review

Teacher Ratings of DSM-III-R Symptoms for the Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Prevalence, Factor Analyses, and Conditional Probabilities in a Special Education Sample

William E. Pelham, Jr., Steven W. Evans, Elizabeth N. Gnagy, Karen E. Greenslade

pp. 285-299

Mini-Series: Self-Management Interventions in the Schools

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Ratings were collected on a rating scale comprised of the DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for disruptive behavior disorders. Teacher ratings were obtained for 364 boys in special education classrooms in elementary schools from around North America. Prevalence rates of attention deficit-hyperactivity (ADHD), oppositional-defiant (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD) scales are reported by age. A factor analysis revealed four factors: one reflecting ODD and several CD symptoms, one on which ADHD symptoms of inattention loaded, one comprised of ADHD impulsivity symptoms, and a fourth on which covert CD symptoms loaded. Conditional probability analyses revealed several hallmark symptoms of ADHD had very poor positive predictive power, and items differed on their utility as inclusionary or exclusionary symptoms for diagnosis. Implications of these results for school psychologists’ practices are discussed.