Title page for ETD etd-08292011-223056

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rodriguez, Jessica Lynne
URN etd-08292011-223056
Title Effect of Labeling Bias on Ratings of ADHD Symptoms
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gresham, Frank Committee Chair
Esteve, Brian Committee Member
Tiger, Jeffrey Committee Member
  • Labeling Bias
  • ADHD
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Behavior Rating
Date of Defense 2011-07-29
Availability unrestricted
In a study by Fox and Stinnett (1996), labeling bias was defined as the “expectations that others might develop for a person given a particular label.” Research has repeatedly shown that negative characteristics are often attributed to children given a label, even when behavior does not differ from non-labeled peers. This study aimed to add to the understanding of labeling bias, specifically a label of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Teachers were recruited to participate in an online survey in which they were randomly assigned one of three variations of a vignette. The vignettes described two children with either no label, a possible moderate ADHD label, or a possible severe ADHD label. Two videos of scripted, child actors were viewed by each participant. After each video, teachers rated the children’s behavior on the seven item, Hyperactivity/Inattention subscale of the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS; Gresham & Elliot, 2008) and rated tolerance for the behaviors exhibited. The effect of priming teachers with an ADHD label (or lack thereof) on ratings of behavior was examined. Differences in tolerance ratings for the ADHD scale behaviors were also examined. Lastly, differences in behavior and tolerance ratings among the two videos were analyzed. Results suggest that ADHD label groups had no effect on behavior or tolerance ratings; however, significant effects were found for both behavior and tolerance ratings with regard to videos. The limitations of the current study and implications for future research are discussed.
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