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Does a child ’ s language ability affect the correspondence between parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms?

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ABSTRACT

Background: Rating scales are often used to identify children with potential Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet there are frequently discrepancies between informants which may be moderated by child characteristics. The current study asked whether correspondence between parent and teacher ratings on the Strengths and Weakness of ADHD symptoms and Normal behaviour scale (SWAN) varied systematically with child language ability.

Method: Parent and teacher SWAN questionnaires were returned for 200 children (aged 61–81 months); 106 had low language ability (LL) and 94 had typically developing language (TL). After exploring informant correspondence (using Pearson correlation) and the discrepancy between raters, we report inter-class correlation coefficients, to assess inter-rater reliability, and Cohen’s kappa, to assess agreement regarding possible ADHD caseness.

Results: Correlations between informant ratings on the SWAN were moderate. Children with LL were rated as having increased inattention and hyperactivity relative to children with TL; teachers, however, rated children with LL as having more inattention than parents. Inter-rater reliability of the SWAN was good and there were no systematic differences between the LL and TL groups. Case agreement between parent and teachers was fair; this varied by language group with poorer case agreement for children with LL.

Conclusion: Children’s language abilities affect the discrepancy between informant ratings of ADHD symptomatology and the agreement between parents and teachers regarding potential ADHD caseness. The assessment of children’s core language ability would be a beneficial addition to the ADHD diagnostic process.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1300-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Estimated marginal means of SWAN inattention (a) and hyperactivity (b) ratings by group. Note: Error bars are 95% CIs; low scores reflect more inattention/hyperactivity
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Fig2: Estimated marginal means of SWAN inattention (a) and hyperactivity (b) ratings by group. Note: Error bars are 95% CIs; low scores reflect more inattention/hyperactivity

Mentions: Figure 2 illustrates mean SWAN subscale ratings (with 95% CIs) by respondent for the LL and TL groups (see Additional file 1: Table S2 for means and SDs and Additional file 1: Figure S2 for SWAN total scores by respondent for the two language groups). Teachers generally rated children has having significantly greater inattention compared to parents (z = −3.95, p < .001); parent and teacher ratings of hyperactivity, on the other hand, were very similar (z = 0.78, p = .44). For both SWAN subscales there were significant effects of language group indicating that children with LL were rated as exhibiting more inattention and hyperactivity than children with TL (inattention: z = −8.90, p < .001 and hyperactivity: z = −6.25, p < .001).Fig. 2


Does a child ’ s language ability affect the correspondence between parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms?
Estimated marginal means of SWAN inattention (a) and hyperactivity (b) ratings by group. Note: Error bars are 95% CIs; low scores reflect more inattention/hyperactivity
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382365&req=5

Fig2: Estimated marginal means of SWAN inattention (a) and hyperactivity (b) ratings by group. Note: Error bars are 95% CIs; low scores reflect more inattention/hyperactivity
Mentions: Figure 2 illustrates mean SWAN subscale ratings (with 95% CIs) by respondent for the LL and TL groups (see Additional file 1: Table S2 for means and SDs and Additional file 1: Figure S2 for SWAN total scores by respondent for the two language groups). Teachers generally rated children has having significantly greater inattention compared to parents (z = −3.95, p < .001); parent and teacher ratings of hyperactivity, on the other hand, were very similar (z = 0.78, p = .44). For both SWAN subscales there were significant effects of language group indicating that children with LL were rated as exhibiting more inattention and hyperactivity than children with TL (inattention: z = −8.90, p < .001 and hyperactivity: z = −6.25, p < .001).Fig. 2

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Rating scales are often used to identify children with potential Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet there are frequently discrepancies between informants which may be moderated by child characteristics. The current study asked whether correspondence between parent and teacher ratings on the Strengths and Weakness of ADHD symptoms and Normal behaviour scale (SWAN) varied systematically with child language ability.

Method: Parent and teacher SWAN questionnaires were returned for 200 children (aged 61&ndash;81&nbsp;months); 106 had low language ability (LL) and 94 had typically developing language (TL). After exploring informant correspondence (using Pearson correlation) and the discrepancy between raters, we report inter-class correlation coefficients, to assess inter-rater reliability, and Cohen&rsquo;s kappa, to assess agreement regarding possible ADHD caseness.

Results: Correlations between informant ratings on the SWAN were moderate. Children with LL were rated as having increased inattention and hyperactivity relative to children with TL; teachers, however, rated children with LL as having more inattention than parents. Inter-rater reliability of the SWAN was good and there were no systematic differences between the LL and TL groups. Case agreement between parent and teachers was fair; this varied by language group with poorer case agreement for children with LL.

Conclusion: Children&rsquo;s language abilities affect the discrepancy between informant ratings of ADHD symptomatology and the agreement between parents and teachers regarding potential ADHD caseness. The assessment of children&rsquo;s core language ability would be a beneficial addition to the ADHD diagnostic process.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1300-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus