Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A multitrait-multimethod analysis of variance of teachers' ratings of aggression, hyperactivity, and inattention

  • 57 Accesses

  • 28 Citations


The convergent and discriminant validities of three teacher rating scale measures of the traits of hyperactivity, aggression, and inattention were explored, using the multitrait-multimethod matrix approach of Campbell and Fiske (1959), as well as an analysis of variance procedure (Stanley, 1961). In the present study teachers rated children from their elementary school classrooms on the above traits. The results provided strong evidence for convergent validity. Data also indicated that these traits can be reliably differentiated by teachers, suggesting that research aimed at better understanding the unique contributions of hyperactivity, aggression, and inattention is warranted. The respective benefits of analyzing multitrait-multimethod matrices by employing the ANOVAprocedure or by using the Campbell and Fiske (1959) criteria were discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References notes

  1. Milich, R. M., Loney, J., & Landau, S.The independent dimensions of hyperactivity and aggression: A validation with playroom observation data. Manuscript submitted for publication, 1981.

  2. Vincent, J. P., Williams, B. J., & Elrod, J. T.Ratings and observations of hyperactivity: Multitrait-multimethod analyses. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, August 1977.

  3. Quay, H.Comments on conduct disorder, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Presented at the symposium, Is There an Independent Syndrome of Hyperactivity? (B. B. Lahey, chair), American Psychological Association, Montreal, 1980.


  1. Achenbach, T., & Edelbrock, C. The classification of child psychopathology: A review and analysis of empirical efforts.Psychological Bulletin, 1978,85, 1275–1301.

  2. American Psychiatric Association.Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-III). Washington, D.C., 1980.

  3. Barkley, R. Hyperactivity. In E. Mash & L. Terdal (Eds.),Behavioral assessment of childhood disorders. New York: Guilford Press, 1981.

  4. Bax, M. Editorial; Who is hyperactive?Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 1978,20, 277–278.

  5. Berman, J. S., & Kenny, D. A. Correlational bias in observer ratings.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976,34, 263–273.

  6. Campbell, D. T., & Fiske, D. W. Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix.Psychological Bulletin, 1959,56, 81–105.

  7. Douglas, V., & Peters, K. Toward a clearer definition of the attentional deficit of hyperactive children. In G. Hale & M. Lewis (Eds.),Attention and cognitive development. New York: Plenum, 1979.

  8. Goyette, C. H., Conners, C. K., & Ulrich, R. F. Normative data on revised Conners' Parent and Teacher Rating Scales.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 1978,6, 221–236, 221–236.

  9. Guy, W.ECDEU assessment manual for psychopharmacology (DHEW Publication #76-338). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976

  10. Kavanagh, M. J., MacKinney, A. C., & Wolins, L. Issues in managerial performance: Multitrait-multimethod analyses of ratings.Psychological Bulletin, 1971,75, 34–49.

  11. Lahey, B. B., Green, K. D., & Forehand, R. On the independence of ratings of hyperactivity, conduct problems, and attention deficits in children: A multiple regression analysis.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1980,48, 566–574.

  12. Langhorne, J., & Loney, J. A four-fold model for subgrouping the hyperkinetic/MBDsyndrome.Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 1979,9, 153–159.

  13. Langhorne, J. E., Jr., Loney, J., Paternite, C. E., & Bechtoldt, H. P. Childhood hyperkinesis: A return to the source.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1976,85, 201–209.

  14. Loney, J., Kramer, J., & Milich, R. The hyperkinetic child grows up: Predictors of symptoms, delinquency, and achievement at follow-up. In K. Gadow & J. Loney (Eds.),Psychosocial aspects of drug treatment for hyperactivity. Boulder: Westview Press, 1981.

  15. Loney, J., Langhorne, J. E., Jr., & Paternité, C. E. An empirical basis for subgrouping the hyperkinetic/minimal brain dysfunction syndrome.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1978,87, 431–441.

  16. Loney, J., Prinz, R. J., Mishalow, J., & Joad, J. Hyperkinetic/aggressive boys in treatment: Predictors of clinical response to methylphenidate.American Journal of Psychiatry, 1978,135, 1487–1491.

  17. Quay, H. Classification. In H. Quay & J. Werry (eds.),Psychopathological disorders of childhood. New York: Wiley, 1979.

  18. Sandberg, S. T., Rutter, M., & Taylor, E. Hyperkinetic disorder in psychiatric clinic attenders.Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 1978,20, 279–299.

  19. Sandoval, J. The measurement of the hyperactive syndrome in children.Review of Educational Research, 1977,47, 293–318.

  20. Schmitt, N., Coyle, B. W., & Saari, B. B. A review and critique of analyses of multitrait-multimethod matrices.Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1977,12, 447–478.

  21. Sprague, R. Assessment of intervention. In R. Trites (Ed.),Hyperactivity in children: Etiology, measurement, and treatment implications. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1979.

  22. Stanley, J. C. Analysis of unreplicated three way classifications with applications to rater bias and trait independence.Psychometrika, 1961,26, 205–219.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Jan Loney.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Roberts, M.A., Milich, R., Loney, J. et al. A multitrait-multimethod analysis of variance of teachers' ratings of aggression, hyperactivity, and inattention. J Abnorm Child Psychol 9, 371–380 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00916841

Download citation


  • Strong Evidence
  • Elementary School
  • Discriminant Validity
  • Convergent Validity
  • Scale Measure