ADHD Rating Scale

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The ADHD Rating Scale is a self-report inventory consisting of 18 questions regarding a child’s behavior over the past 6 months. It can be used to aid in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and to measure improvement in symptoms following treatment. Each question measures the frequency of the behavior, in which the respondent is asked to indicate whether the behavior occurs “always or very often”, “often”, “somewhat”, or “rarely or never”.

The rating scale can be completed by a child, parent, teacher or clinician. The scores of the scale have shown good reliability and validity across multiple different study samples.[1][2]

Scoring and interpretation[edit]


Items in the questionnaire measures the following:

  • 1-9 measure inattention symptoms
  • 10-18 measure impulsivity and hyperactivity symptoms
  • 19 asks if some of the behaviors were present in the child before the age of 7


Scoring is based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. For all subtypes, the DSM-IV requires that some symptoms be present in the child before the age of 7. The information required to meet criteria is as follows:

  • ADHD inattentive sub-type: 6 or more of the 9 responses in the “Inattention” section must be either “often” or “always or very often”.
  • ADHD hyperactive sub-type: 6 or more of the 9 responses in the “Impulsivity and Hyperactivity” section must be either “often or “always or very often”.
  • ADHD combined subtype: 6 of the 9 responses must be marked as either “often” or “always or very often” in both the “Inattention” and “Impulsivity and Hyperactivity” sections.

In order to meet the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD, symptoms must be present in two or more settings. It is recommended and common for a parent and a teacher to both complete the ADHD Rating Scale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Faries, D. E.; Yalcin, I.; Harder, D.; Heiligenstein, J. H. (1 January 2001). "Validation of the ADHD Rating Scale as a clinician administered and scored instrument". Journal of Attention Disorders 5 (2): 107–115. doi:10.1177/108705470100500204. 
  2. ^ Pelham WE, Jr; Fabiano, GA; Massetti, GM (September 2005). "Evidence-based assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents.". Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53 34 (3): 449–76. doi:10.1207/s15374424jccp3403_5. PMID 16026214.