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The differential validity of teacher ratings of Inattention/Overactivity and Aggression

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The ability of school-based measures of child behavior to predict differentially the IOWA Conners teacher rating scale Inattention/Overactivity (IO) and Aggression (A) factors was evaluated in a sample of 71 schoolaged boys. Multiple measures and multiple methods of assessment were utilized to provide a comprehensive assessment of social and academic behavior. These included direct observations of children in the classroom and on the playground, examination of the organization of children's desks, measures of academic performance, peer nominations of popularity and rejection, and sociometric ratings using the Pupil Evaluation Inventory. Despite moderately high correlations between the teacher rating factors (r=.60),considerable evidence was provided for differential validity on measures of academic performance, peer rating measures, and measures of disruptive or inappropriate classroom and playground behavior. These differences between IO and A factors indicated that the factors were logically independent in important ways, supporting prior work validating separate hyperactivity and aggression dimensions.

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Author information

Correspondence to Marc S. Atkins.

Additional information

The authors are grateful to Richard Milich, Joseph Torgeson, and Richard Tate for critical readings of this manuscript; to Charlotte Johnston for invaluable administrative assistance; to Susan Friedan, Stephanie Martinez, Nancy Hudgens, Denise Gammonsly, Kate Taylor, Roz Sweet, and Michelle Willis for assistance in data collection and computer input; and to Edward Vertuno, Marvel Lou Sanden, Sally Butzin, Eileen McDaniel, Sadette Lathrop, Judy Arnette, Gloria Poole, Anne Black, Dianne Ferrell, Patrica Tolbert, and Margie Rush of the Florida State University Developmental Research School for their outstanding cooperation and support.

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Atkins, M.S., Pelham, W.E. & Licht, M.H. The differential validity of teacher ratings of Inattention/Overactivity and Aggression. J Abnorm Child Psychol 17, 423–435 (1989).

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  • Academic Performance
  • Child Behavior
  • Teacher Rating
  • Multiple Method
  • Rating Factor