Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 143–155 | Cite as

Hyperactive behavior in english schoolchildren: A questionnaire survey

  • Eric Taylor
  • Seija Sandberg


The differences in apparent prevalence of childhood hyperactivity between England and North America are more than 20-fold. This paper seeks to illuminate the reasons for the difference by applying a standard measure [Conners Teacher Rating Scale] to 437 English schoolchildren, aged 6 to 9 years, and comparing them with published surveys from the United States and Australasia. The rating scale had moderate interrater reliability and stability over time; it distinguished between children referred for psychiatric treatment and normal schoolchildren. Component analysis yielded a factor of hyperactivity-inattentiveness, distinct from conduct disorder. The mean hyperactivity scores of English children were higher than in most U.S. surveys but lower than in New Zealand. The national differences in rates of diagnosed hyperactivity are likely to reflect diagnostic inconsistency rather than true differences in children's behavior.


Standard Measure Questionnaire Survey Interrater Reliability Teacher Rate Psychiatric Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Taylor
    • 1
  • Seija Sandberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryInstitute of PsychiatryDenmark Hill, LondonEngland

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