Paradoxical Patterns in the Measurement of Hyperactivity (Corrected Version)

Mitchalina Kenney, Chris Ninness, Robin Rumph, Anna Bradfield, Holly Cost


The use of rating scales rather than direct observation procedures to identify various behavior problems is a popular trend in the public school system. We compared a popular rating scale with a direct observation system to measure "hyperactive behaviors" in a classroom setting. The subjects were 30 seventh grade students chosen at random from heterogeneously grouped students at a public middle school. A Pearson product-moment correlation was used to determine the magnitude and direction of the correlation between the data obtained by way of direct observations and the rating scale. Reliability coefficients were obtained, and a regression equation and coefficient of determination were calculated. A statistically significant but relatively low correlation was obtained between behaviors recorded by way of the direct observation instrument and the behavior rating scale. Interestingly, a strong negative correlation was found between the level of hyperactivity obtained on the rating scale and the rating scale reliability coefficients.

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility