Publication Date

Spring 2022

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sarah Ochs (Director), Frederick Grieve, Sally Kuhlenschmidt

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


An accurate Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis is essential as there are substantial social and functional costs associated with misdiagnosis. Data collected from a 2014 National Survey suggested that one-half of the children diagnosed with ADHD were diagnosed by a pediatrician or family health provider through unstructured behavioral observations or using a checklist that may not adhere to diagnostic guidelines. Additionally, clinicians providing ADHD diagnoses have admitted to possessing limited knowledge on the disorder itself and denied attending continuing education courses on ADHD. The current study sought to answer two research questions: 1) are measures reported for diagnosis by pediatricians evidence-based (i.e., normed on a sample population, adequate reliability and validity, or connected to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM 5) (APA, 2013) criteria) and 2) is the ADHD patient volume related to use of evidence-based measures? Results indicated that pediatricians diagnosing children within a family practice setting are currently using measures that are evidence-based, meaning that they demonstrate strong psychometric properties, assess for diagnostic criteria, and rule out co-morbid conditions. These findings can be used to contradict current evidence that suggests individuals outside of the psychological community who provide ADHD diagnosis in children are doing so without the use of evidence-based measures. Limitations and future research are discussed.


Clinical Psychology | Mental Disorders | Psychology

Available for download on Sunday, May 04, 2025