Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS)


The Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale is used to help in the diagnostic process of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children between the ages of 6 and 12. It has a total of 55 questions, includes all 18 of the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD and should be completed by a parent of the child. As well as identifying inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined subtypes of ADHD, it can also be used to identify symptoms of frequent comorbidities, including oppositional defiance, conduct disorder, anxiety and depression.

Concurrent validity has been established through comparing parent rating with teacher ratings and those independently diagnosed with ADHD (Mark et al., 2003). Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed four factors that fitted with the theoretical formulation of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, ODD-CD, and anxiety-depression subscales.

Becker et al. (2011) reformulated the scoring method for the comorbid sub-scales by using the total sum of scores for each subscale and found that this method yielded greater clinical utility and more precise cutoff points. In this scoring system using the total sum of the subscales (rather than when a parents rates either 2 or 3 on the Likert scale), ODD is ruled out at <10, CD at <4 and Anxiety/Depression at <4.

Scores are presented for the three subtypes of ADHD:
1.Predominately Inattentive Subtype. A child meets the diagnostic criteria if they have six or more “Often” or “Very Often” on items 1 to 9, plus a performance problem (scores of 1 or 2) on questions 48 to 55.

2.Predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive Subtype. A child meets diagnostic criteria if they have six or more “Often” or “Very Often” on items 10 through 18, plus a performance problem (scores of 1 or 2) on questions 48 to 55.

3.Combined Subtype. A child meets the diagnostic criteria if they meet the above criteria for both Inattentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive subtypes.

In addition the ADHD scales, scores are presented for frequently comorbid difficulties using Beck et al. (2011) scoring system. Children with scores below the clinical cutoff are highly unlikely to meet the diagnostic criteria for that disorder. Children above the cutoff on on the ODD, CD, Anxiety/Depression sub-scales should be further evaluated, as this scale is only designed as a cursory screening measure for such problems.

– Inattentive Subtype = items 1 to 9
– Hyperactive/Impulsive Subtype = items 10 to 18
– Oppositional Defiant Disorder = items 19 to 26
– Conduct Disorder = items 27 to 40
– Anxiety/ Depression = items 41 to 47

Wolraich, M. L., Hannah, J. N., Baumgaertel, A., & Feurer, I. D. (1998). Examination of DSM-IV critieria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a countywide sample. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 19, 162– 168.

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