Conners’ Rating Scales-Revised

The Conners’ Rating Scales—Revised (CRS-R) comprises a set of six standardized measures designed to evaluate behavioral symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). The rating scales— each available in long and short form—are completed by teachers, parents, and adolescents. All items contained within the various CRS-R forms utilize a 4-point scale; these include 0 (not true at all), 1 (just a little true), 2 (pretty much true), and 3 (very much true). There are three methods for calculating scores. The clinician can calculate scores using an answer sheet. Alternatively, computer scoring and interpretive reports are available through the publisher. Finally, a computerized version is available that scores the rating scales and provides an interpretive report.

The standardization sample consisted of 8,000 cases, and data were collected from 200 sites in the United States and Canada. According to the manual, more than 95% of all states and provinces in the United States and Canada were included. A total of 1,000 Black adolescents were included in the sample, which—according to the manual—warranted the creation of normative data specifically for Black youth.

The standard error of measurement for the CRS-R was characterized as low. According to Conners, if individuals were assessed simultaneously, 95% of the scores would be within ±1.96 SEM of their theoretical true scores. Similar observations were made with respect to the standard error of prediction. Clinicians could have expected an individual’s obtained scores to be within ±1.96 SEM of predicted scores.

Test-retest reliabilities were secured from samples of 49 to 50 youth; retest intervals spanned 6 to 8 weeks. Correlations ranged from .47 for the Conners’ Teacher Rating Scales—Revised Long Version (CTRS-R:L) Cognitive Problems and DSM-IV Hyperactive-Impulsive scales to .89 for the Emotional Problems subscale of the Conners-Wells’ Adolescent Self-Report Scale Long Form (CASS:L). Internal consistency reliabilities for the CRS-R Parent and Teacher Forms were within the moderate (r = .73) to high (r = .96) range. Likewise, the Adolescent Self-Report Form evidenced moderate (r = .75) to high (r = .92) internal consistency reliability coefficients.

Factor analysis used to construct the scales evidenced acceptable construct validity. Convergent and discriminant validity provided additional support for construct validity. Convergent validity was demonstrated using correlations of long and short forms, which ranged from .95 to .99 on various scales. Discriminant validity was supported by evidence that the CRS-R discriminates between clinical and nonclinical groups.

The psychometric properties of the CRS-R demonstrated considerable improvements over the original measure. The reliability and validity estimates are generally acceptable. However, the standardization sample was not representative of the U.S. population as reflected in census data. Black parents were underrepresented; White parents were overrepresented; and the adolescent scales overrepresented Black youth. Furthermore, several reliability and validity estimates were derived from samples of 100 individuals or fewer; some included fewer than 50 observations. As stated above, the manual reported that the CRS-R significantly delineates clinical from nonclinical groups. It is noteworthy that approximately 38% of the youth within the study sample had an AD/HD diagnosis, whereas base rate estimates for the prevalence of AD/HD within the general population have been 2% and 7%.

References:

  1. Conners, C. K. (1997). Conners’Rating Scales-Revised: Technical manual. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.
  2. Conners, C. K. (2006). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: The latest assessment and treatment strategies (3rd ed., p. 30). Kansas City, MO: Compact Clinicals.
  3. Sattler, J. M., & Hodge, R. D. (2006). Assessment of children: Behavioral, social, and clinical foundations (5th ed., pp. 283-284). La Mesa, CA: Sattler.

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