Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 179–190 | Cite as

Rating scales for hyperactivity: Concurrent validity, reliability, and decisions to label for the Conners and Davids abbreviated scales

  • Sydney S. Zentall
  • Robin S. Barack


Rating scales have become the instrument of choice in labeling and assessing change in behavior of hyperactive children. However, several criticisms have recently been levied against their use. The present investigation examined the concurrent validity, and inter- and intrarater reliability for the Abbreviated Teacer Questionnaire (ATQ, Conners, 1973) and the Rating Scales for Hyperkinesis (Davids, 1971). Sixteen teachers from two special and two regular schools (grades 1–4) rated 211 normal and 49 special children using both scales. High correlations were found suggesting excellent predictability between scales and considerable stability across time and rater. Lower scores on a subsequent rating relative to an initial rating were demonstrated, dependent on time between ratings but independent of (a) teacher expectation of treatment gains, (b) bias produced by rating selected children, and (c) whether children were hyperactive or normal. Use of initial and infrequent rating scores versus subsequent, closely spaced ratings was related to the rater's objective (e.g., diagnosis, treatment, or assessment).


Lower Score Initial Rating Concurrent Validity Rating Score Subsequent Rating 
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 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sydney S. Zentall
    • 1
  • Robin S. Barack
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Special EducationEastern Kentucky UniversityRichmond
  2. 2.Pittsburgh Child Guidance CenterUSA

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