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The Psychometric Properties of the Vanderbilt Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale in a Community Population

Bard, David E. PhD*; Wolraich, Mark L. MD*; Neas, Barbara PhD; Doffing, Melissa MS; Beck, Laoma MD§

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: February 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 72–82
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31827a3a22
Original Article

Objective: To examine the psychometric properties of the Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS) using a community-based sample of primarily elementary and middle school–aged children.

Method: Participants were initially recruited from 41 elementary schools in 5 Oklahoma school districts including urban, suburban, and rural students. Vanderbilt rating scales were obtained from all teachers (n = 601) and sampled parents (n = 587) of the participating children. Construct validity was assessed by confirmatory factor analysis of the 45 items that made up the 4 scales of inattention, hyperactivity, conduct/oppositional problems, and anxiety/depression problems. Reliability was evaluated from internal consistency, test-retest, and interrater agreement perspectives. Criterion validity was evaluated via comparisons to a structured psychiatric interview with the parents using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV.

Results: A 4-factor model (inattention, hyperactivity, conduct/oppositional problems, and anxiety/depression problems) fit the data well once discarding conduct items that were infrequently endorsed. The estimates of coefficient alpha ranged from .91 to .94 and the analogous KR20 coefficient for a binary item version of the scale ranged from .88 to .91. Test-retest reliability exceeded .80 for all summed scale scores. The VADPRS produced a sensitivity of .80, specificity of .75, positive predictive value of .19, and negative predictive value of .98 when predicting an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) case definition that combined teacher’s Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Teacher Rating Scale and parent diagnostic interview responses.

Conclusion: The confirmation of the construct and concurrent criterion validities found in this study further support the utility of the VADPRS as a diagnostic rating scale for ADHD.

*Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics; and

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City OK

Gerontology Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO

§Ann Arbor, MI.

Address for reprints: Mark L. Wolraich, MD, OU Child Study Center, 1100 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117; e-mail:

Disclosure: This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through cooperative agreements (U50/CCU622315-02 and U84/CCU422516-02). Mark L. Wolraich has provided consultations to Shire, Lilly, Shionogi, and Nextwave. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Received February , 2012

Accepted September , 2012

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.