Courtesy of Tris Pharma Medical Affairs.

This site is intended for U.S. healthcare professionals only.

Diagnostic Scales Scales used for diagnosis of ADHD Scales used for diagnosis of ADHD

ADHD-specific rating scales focus directly on the symptoms of ADHD44

Are used to determine if core symptoms of ADHD are present44

Reliability varies depending upon the age of the child, the scale that is used, and who is providing the information (e.g., parent, teacher, adolescent)44

Key aspects of ADHD rating scales45

Assessment measures

Frequency or severity of ADHD symptoms

Levels of functional impairment

Impact on quality of life and finances



Only the Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales and the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV) have been validated in preschool-aged children.44
The Vanderbilt Assessment Scales were not designed for preschool children but may be used in children ≥4 years44








Scoring methods

Different scales employ different scoring methods; examples include Likert scale, yes/no, or free-text responses

Threshold values for improvement following treatment vary between rating scales

Availability and cost

Some are freely available to clinicians

Some require online purchase

Copyright restrictions vary


44. Krull KR. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Clinical features and diagnosis. UpToDate. September 2018. Available at
45. Kollins SH, Sparrow EP. Rating scales for the assessment of ADHD in: Conners CK, ed. Guide to assessment scales in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Springer Healthcare Ltd., 2010:6-40.