Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 331–345 | Cite as

Agreement between teachers' ratings and observations of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and defiance

  • Russell Schachar
  • Seija Sandberg
  • Michael Rutter


The relationship of directly observed classroom behavior and teacher ratings on questionnaires with a judgmental (Conners Teacher Rating Scale) or operational format was examined for 33 boys aged 6 years 5 months to 7 years 7 months. Results showed a high degree of association between observed and rated behavior. This association did not vary with the format of the rating scales but did vary with the nature of the behavior being rated. Defiance was more reliably rated than hyperactivity or inattentiveness. Several behaviors exerted a halo effect on ratings of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and behavior problems. In particular, defiance toward a teacher increased the likelihood that a child would be rated as hyperactive or inattentive regardless of his observed level of activity or attentiveness. These results support the validity of behavior rating scales as screening measures for hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and defiance and indicate that a child's defiance and disobedience are significant causes of misclassification.


Behavior Problem Operational Format Teacher Rate Behavior Rating Classroom Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Schachar
    • 1
  • Seija Sandberg
    • 2
  • Michael Rutter
    • 2
  1. 1.The Hospital for Sick ChildrenToronto
  2. 2.Institute of PsychiatryLondon

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