Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The present study, using a survey questionnaire developed by Luckett (1996), was completed by 211 kindergarten through sixth grade teachers in 33 school districts across Kentucky. The sample consisted of regular education, special education, and Title One teachers with one to thirty-one years of experience. Educational backgrounds of the predominantly female sample ranged from bachelor's to doctoral degrees. The survey included four distinct sections. Participants were questioned about (a) knowledge level with respect to the diagnostic criteria and diagnostic labels for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (b) intervention preferences for addressing ADHD student's behaviors in the classroom, (c) interventions which they would use for ADHD student's behaviors under ideal classroom circumstances, and (d) opinions concerning the importance of a number of issues related to ADHD and the classroom teacher. Data analysis consisted of frequency and percentage distributions, chi-square tests, and measures of central tendency. The collected data were also compared to data gathered by a previous study of teachers in 16 central-western Kentucky school systems (Luckett, 1996). As in Luckett's (1996) study, respondents indicated limited knowledge of the specific diagnostic criteria and classification for ADHD. Commonly used interventions for nine of the ADHD characteristics included positive reinforcement and punishment, while commonly chosen interventions for an ideal setting included self-management. Teachers across job positions indicated that more training in assessment and intervention for ADHD students was important. The majority of the teachers responded that they had instructed an ADHD student in the past two years, and for the most part, typical resources for training included inservice training within the district and self-study using books and manuals. The majority of the respondents indicated that having a selection of interventions available was the most important. However, as indicated from the survey data, teachers are not making the connection between the diagnostic criteria and appropriate interventions for those criteria. Instead, teachers are identifying inappropriate interventions which the research literature does not support. For example, overwhelmingly, teachers would choose to use the intervention of self-management in an ideal educational setting. If educators can make the appropriate, research-based connection from the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria to proven classroom interventions, the ADHD child will be better served in the educational setting. Improved teacher training in undergraduate coursework in the area of understanding and teaching the ADHD student may help make the connection between assessment and intervention.


Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Psychology