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Eur Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;27(5):321-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2010.12.010. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

German validation of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS) II: reliability, validity, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.

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Philipps-University Marburg, Department of Clinical Psychology, Germany.



The German version of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS) has proven to show very high model fit in confirmative factor analyses with the established factors inattention/memory problems, hyperactivity/restlessness, impulsivity/emotional lability, and problems with self-concept in both large healthy control and ADHD patient samples. This study now presents data on the psychometric properties of the German CAARS-self-report (CAARS-S) and observer-report (CAARS-O) questionnaires.


CAARS-S/O and questions on sociodemographic variables were filled out by 466 patients with ADHD, 847 healthy control subjects that already participated in two prior studies, and a total of 896 observer data sets were available. Cronbach's-alpha was calculated to obtain internal reliability coefficients. Pearson correlations were performed to assess test-retest reliability, and concurrent, criterion, and discriminant validity. Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC-analyses) were used to establish sensitivity and specificity for all subscales.


Coefficient alphas ranged from .74 to .95, and test-retest reliability from .85 to .92 for the CAARS-S, and from .65 to .85 for the CAARS-O. All CAARS subscales, except problems with self-concept correlated significantly with the Barrett Impulsiveness Scale (BIS), but not with the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS). Criterion validity was established with ADHD subtype and diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria. Sensitivity and specificity were high for all four subscales.


The reported results confirm our previous study and show that the German CAARS-S/O do indeed represent a reliable and cross-culturally valid measure of current ADHD symptoms in adults.

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