Discriminant validity of a DSM-IV-based teacher checklist: Comparison of regular and special education students

Richard E. Mattison, Kenneth D. Gadow, Joyce Sprafkin, Edith E. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Special educators are increasingly called upon to communicate with community mental health professionals about problem behaviors in terms of DSM-IV psychiatric symptomatology. The teacher version of the Child Symptom Inventory-4 (CSI-4T) is a screening instrument for DSM-IV emotional and behavioral disorders. This study used the CSI-4T to investigate the prevalence of DSM-IV symptoms in four groups of 6-to 12-year-old boys: students with E/BD who were referred for psychiatric consultation, students in special education, students referred to an outpatient clinic (42% receiving special education), and general education students. Results showed that the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder occurred the most commonly across the groups. The general pattern of symptom severity was, in order of decreasing severity, E/BD consultation, outpatient clinic, special education, and general education. Overall, characteristics for all groups of boys appeared consistent with clinical expectations. Findings also provide preliminary support for the discriminant validity of the CSI-4T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-316
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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