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Parent-teacher concordance for DSM-IV attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a clinic-referred sample.

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Department of Psychology, City University of New York, USA.



To examine concordance between parent and teacher reports of DSM-IV attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its symptoms.


Parents and teachers of 74 clinically referred children were interviewed using the ADHD module of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Parent-teacher agreement for the diagnosis of ADHD and its subtypes, as defined in DSM-IV, as well as parent-teacher concordance of in-school ADHD symptoms, was examined.


Agreement between parents and teachers was found to be relatively poor, with virtually no agreement for individual ADHD subtypes. Diagnoses based on either parent or teacher report frequently yielded a diagnosis of either inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive subtype of ADHD. However, when cross-informant data were used to form diagnoses, these subtypes became relatively rare, with most cases meeting criteria for ADHD combined type. In addition, parent reports of in-school behavior were more highly correlated with their own reports of their child's behavior at home than with teacher reports of their child's behavior in school.


These data suggest that the diagnosis of ADHD inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive subtype based on data from a single informant may be of questionable validity, and they point to the importance of using multiple informants when diagnosing this disorder in clinically referred samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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