The ADHD Rating Scale-IV Essay

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The ADHD Rating Scale-IV is designed to be used with children ages 5 to 18 and consists of scales for the Home and School. The Home version is also available in Spanish. The scales are rated according to symptom frequency on a 4-point scale of 9 to 3 (never or rarely) to (very often) and each has 18 items. The checklists are designed to be completed by parents and teachers who have observed the child for six months. Divided across four age groups, the scores are reported as percentile ranks separately for boys and girls. The breakdown of age groups is from 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18 for both the Home and School version. The rating scales produce three scores: Inattention (IA), Hyperactivity-Impulsivity (HI), and total. According to Lindskog (1998), “On both forms, the Inattention scale consists of the 9 odd-numbered items, and the Hyperactivity-Impulsivity scale consists of the 9 even-numbered items, which are alternated to reduce response bias.” It is notable that the reviewer states the ADHD Rating Scale-IV is not intended to be used alone in ADHD diagnosis, but rather should be used with other more comprehensive sources such as diagnostic interviews, behavioral observations, and behavior ratings (Lindskog, 1998).

One notable feature of the Fourth Edition is the change from previous versions of the scale in terms of parallel criteria from the DSM-IV. According to Lindskog (1998), “The authors used both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis with national populations in excess of 4,000 to determine if 'these scales would conform to the bidimensional structure of the diagnostic criteria' (manual, p. 5) for both the Home and School scales, and concluded that the scale items align with both a one- or two-factor (IA, ...

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...nt the instrument. In addition, the instrument is easy to score, which may be of use to teachers and parents as well as in a clinical setting. Also of note is the idea that the alignment of the DSM-IV criteria may not be entirely relevant to the school setting because many children with attention problems do well in the school setting. In conclusion, use of the results from the ADHD Rating Scale-IV to diagnose ADHD should be done only in conjunction with observation by multiple sources, familiarity with the child’s behavior in a variety of settings, and with caution against making biased identifications.


DuPaul, G. J., Power, T. J., Anastopoulos, A. D., & Reid, R. (1998). ADHD Rating Scale-IV. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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