Date of Award

5-12-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

William F. Barker, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Steven W. Evans, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined interrater reliability and potential sources of rater bias among teacher behavior ratings for adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The intent of the study was two-fold: 1) to assess the consistency between teacher behavior ratings for adolescents with ADHD, and 2) to explore potential sources of bias among teacher raters. In schools, intervention decisions for children and adolescents with ADHD are often based on rating scale data collected from classroom teachers. However, research has shown that teacher behavior ratings are oftentimes incongruent, especially at the secondary school level. Furthermore, behavior rating scales are generally viewed to be highly susceptible to rater bias. For example, teacher raters often provide relatively lenient or severe judgments, compared to the judgments of other teachers. While rater inconsistencies and rater bias are occasionally discussed in the professional literature, few studies have directly examined between-teacher reliability in secondary schools and the sources of bias that explain interrater inconsistencies. The present study examined interrater reliability and potential sources of rater bias in teacher ratings of middle school students with ADHD.

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