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.  

Psychometric Properties

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) validated the subscales but reformulated the scoring method for the comorbid sub-scales by using the total sum of scores. In this scoring system 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, Anxiety at <5 and Depression at <5. Nevertheless, the overall scale was validated and found to have high reliability and clinical utility.  

Scoring and Interpretation 

Scores are presented for the three subtypes of ADHD:

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

In addition to the ADHD scales, scores are presented for frequently comorbid difficulties. Children with scores below the clinical cutoff are highly unlikely to meet the diagnostic criteria for that disorder. Children above the cutoff on the ODD, CD, Anxiety/Depression sub-scales should be further evaluated, as these sub-scales are only designed as a cursory screening measure for such problems.

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder = items 19 to 26. To be above the clinical cutoff score of 2 or 3 on 4(or more) out of 8 behaviors on questions 19–26 AND score a 1 or 2 on any of the performance questions 48–55.
  • Conduct Disorder = items 27 to 40. To be above the clinical cutoff scores a 2 or 3 on 3(or more) out of 14 behaviors on questions 27–40 AND score a 1 or 2 on any of the performance questions 48–55
  • Anxiety/ Depression = items 41 to 47. To be above the clinical cutoff scores a 2 or 3 on 3(or more) out of 7 behaviors on questions 41–47 AND score a 1 or 2 on any of the performance questions 48–55.  

Developer

Wolraich, M. L., Hannah, J. N., Baumgaertel, A., & Feurer, I. D. (1998). Examination of DSM-IV critieria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a county-wide sample. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 19, 162– 168. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004703-199806000-00003 

References

Wolraich, M, Lambert, W., Doffing, M., Bickman, L., Simmons, T., Worley, K., (2003). Psychometric Properties of the Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale in a Referred Population, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Volume 28, Issue 8, 1, Pages 559–568. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsg046

Becker, S. P., Langberg, J. M., Vaughn, A. J., & Epstein, J. N. (2012). Clinical utility of the Vanderbilt ADHD diagnostic parent rating scale comorbidity screening scales. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(3), 221. https://doi.org/10.1097/dbp.0b013e318245615b