Objective: The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether behaviors that differentiate children and adolescents with ADHD from those without are related to the primary diagnostic criteria (i.e., inattention and impulsivity-hyperactivity), symptoms of comorbid conditions, functional impairment, or a combination, and to determine whether behaviors that discriminate are consistent between the key developmental stages of childhood and adolescence. Method: Parents and teachers rated children and adolescents with a formal diagnosis of ADHD and those without any mental, physical, or emotional disorders on the multidimensional Behavior Assessment System for Children (2nd ed., BASC-2). Results: Results indicated that behaviors that discriminate children and adolescents with ADHD from those without were associated with primary symptoms, symptoms of comorbid conditions, and indicators of functional impairment. Teachers rated atypicality as the strongest discriminator of children with ADHD from those without and learning problems as the strongest discriminator of adolescents. Parents rated hyperactivity as the strongest discriminator for children and attention problems for adolescents. Activities of daily living was the third strongest discriminator of adolescents as rated by parents. Conclusions: Findings supported the need for a multidimensional view of ADHD that adds emphasis to issues of functional impairment in routine, daily activities important to success in school and interpersonally. Findings showed that conceptualizing and assessing behaviors demonstrated by children and adolescents with ADHD as a whole instead of only equating a diagnosis of ADHD to hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity will establish a foundation for understanding, interpreting, and addressing students' academic and behavioral needs across the home and school. (J. of Att. Dis. 2011; 15(2) 147-160).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- comorbid conditions
- diagnostic criteria
- functional impairment