Pervasive and situational hyperactivity--confounding effect of informant: a research note.
Several studies of children with problems of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention (HIA) have suggested that when such behaviour occurs in more than one setting, associated conduct problems, emotional symptoms, and functional impairment are more serious than when HIA problems are seen in one situation only. Analyses of parent and teacher reports on a community sample of 480 children aged 7-11 are presented to show that in some cases this conclusion may have resulted from a confound between informant and information. When children with situational HIA were divided into 'home situational' and 'school situational' subgroups, their scores on other measures of psychopathology and impairment varied, depending on whether the informant was the parent or the teacher. When the source of information was independent of parents' or teachers' judgments, no differences were found between situationally and pervasively HIA children. Implications for future studies of situational and prevasive HIA are discussed.
Costello, EJ; Loeber, R; Stouthamer-Loeber, M
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