ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactive disorder affects 2.5% of adults and 5% of children residing in the United States (American Psychiatric Association, 2014). Obtaining an accurate diagnosis involves a multifaceted process using multiple measures of assessment including clinician-patient observation, interviews, and rating scales. With this in mind, it is imperative that the diagnostic criteria used to assess ADHD have sound psychometric properties. In particular, this paper investigates the structure, technical properties, practical aspects, usefulness, strengths, and limitations of the Conners 3 as a practical tool for the assessment of ADHD.
C. Keith Conners has spent over four decades constructing assessment scales for ADHD and comorbid conditions in adults and children ages 6-18 years-old. The Conners 3rd Edition, or Conners 3 is an updated version of (CRS-R) Conners Rating Scales-Revised which offers a higher level of accuracy in diagnosis (Conners, 2008). This test was published by Multi-Health System in 2008 which include several scales: parent forms (Conners 3-P), teacher forms (Conners 3-T), and subject self-report forms (Conners 3-SR), global index (Conners 3-GI), and an ADHD index (Conners 3-AI). Prices range from $2.75 for a single online parent/self-report form to a $749.00 package which includes a manual in English, software program with answer key; parent, teacher, and self-report response, and quick-score booklets. Qualifications of test administrators include; psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, physicians, counselors that all must meet licensing requirements and be expected to follow an ethical code of conduct. Interpreters of tests must meet a minimum of graduate level coursework in tests and measurements. Tests can be purchased only by licensed, qualified buyers through Multi-Health Systems, Inc, (Conners).
The purpose and use of the Conners 3 system is to diagnose and treat ADHD within a clinical setting. Behaviors of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, along with any potential comorbidity, such as, learning disabilities, conduct or oppositional defiant disorder, and social interactions. Ideally, the ultimate goal of a clinical assessment goes beyond merely retrieving scores. However, accurate test results provide the test administrator with an additional tool to create a personalized approach to treatment.
The standard error of measurement occurs when a child’s achieved score does not match his or her true score. This can occur from various factors such as the test taker’s level of fatigue which can then influence the amount of attention given on a test. Thus, the standard error of measurement can aid in establishing the statistical implications of fluctuating scores. Accordingly, a Reliability Change Index using a 90% confidence interval (p ˂ .10) highlighted any fluctuation of scores (p 171, 175).
Inter-rater reliability on the Conners 3 indicates how often...