Some Psychometric Properties of a System to Measure ADHD among College Students: Factor Pattern, Reliability, and One-Year Predictive Validity. (Articles)

By Glutting, Joseph J.; Monaghan, Maureen C. et al. | Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, January 2002 | Go to article overview

Some Psychometric Properties of a System to Measure ADHD among College Students: Factor Pattern, Reliability, and One-Year Predictive Validity. (Articles)


Glutting, Joseph J., Monaghan, Maureen C., Adams, Wayne, Sheslow, David, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development


This study obtained construct (factorial) validity, internal consistency reliability, and 1-year criterion coefficients for scores from the College Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Response Evaluation (CARE), an evaluation tool examining ADHD behaviors as reported by college students and their parents. Among the CARE variables, parent ratings were better predictors of college achievement than student ratings.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represents a psychopathology with an expanding national constituency (Barkley, 1998). Simultaneously, there is considerable disagreement about what behaviors and symptoms constitute ADHD, the most appropriate methods for diagnosing and treating the disorder, and whether it is a mental or physical disability (Hinshaw, 1994). Parents and educators must operate in this climate while making decisions about how to best assist children with the diagnosis. Further complicating matters, individuals with ADHD are growing up and entering college in record numbers (Latham, 1995; Richard, 1995).

Originally, ADHD was defined as a psychopathology of childhood. It is now recognized that ADHD extends at least through early adulthood and that it may well be a lifelong disability (Barkley, 1998). ADHD represents the manifestation of developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Symptoms must be present in multiple settings and typically appear before age 7 (Barkley, Fischer, Edelbrock, & Smallish, 1990). The condition is just beginning to receive attention on college campuses. The focus on ADHD is partly a consequence of federal laws enacted between 1973 and 1990 that mandate public schools to direct assessment and intervention efforts toward children with ADHD. The provision of support services for postsecondary students with ADHD is an extension of requirements for children, as specified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Nadeau, 1995).

Postsecondary disability service providers are struggling to assist the wave of ADHD students who require accommodations (Latham, 1995). This group of college students is growing so fast that their number might soon equal the number of students with learning disabilities (Latham, 1995). Studies that suggest 1% to 4% of the college population has ADHD (DuPaul et al., 2001; Heilgenstein, Conyers, Berns, & Smith, 1998). However, at best, the figures are rough estimates because no study prospectively investigated postsecondary students with ADHD with respect to the condition's onset, course, or treatment.

LONGITUDINAL OUTCOMES WITH CHILDREN

Multiple, prospective ADHD studies have been conducted with children. All of the following investigations included children between 6 and 12 years of age who were examined longitudinally for 10 to 25 years. Participants in the investigations were selected from the general child population. Results are discouraging: (a) nearly two thirds of the children with ADHD, as adolescents and adults (approximately 66% compared with 7% of matched controls), had at least one disabling symptom of the hyperactive child syndrome (e.g., restlessness, poor concentration, impulsivity) (Gittelman, Mannuzza, Shenker, & Bonagura, 1985; Weiss & Hechtman, 1993); (b) the adults with ADHD had obtained less formal education (Mannuzza, Gittelman-Klein, Bessler, Malloy, & LaPadula, 1993); (c) all study participants were more likely to experience other psychiatric illnesses, such as antisocial personality disorder (Klein & Manuzza, 1991); and (d) as adolescents and young adults, they were slightly more prone to alcohol abuse than their pe ers (Barkley et al., 1990; Klein & Manuzza, 1991).

However, some results are positive: one third of the adults with a history of ADHD had good outcomes. Although some continuing symptoms remained, problems were not present to a significant degree. Most adults were employed and self-supporting. …

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