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About Conners Teacher Rating Scales

The Conners 3 – Teacher (Conners 3-T)

The Conners 3-T assesses behaviors and other concerns in children and adolescents ages 6 to 18. Both full-length and short versions are available. The full-length version provides more comprehensive results and is recommended for both initial evaluations and re-evaluations.

Conners Teacher Rating Scales
Conners Teacher Rating Scales

The short version provides the evaluation of the key areas of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, learning problems/executive functioning, aggression, and peer relations, making it an ideal measurement when time is limited or for follow-up testing. When used with the parent form, differences between home and school are highlighted.

The Conners 3 consists of three standard forms: Parent (Conners 3-P), Teacher (Conners 3-T), and Self-Report (Conners 3-SR). All forms can be administered online, by email, or on paper. Following administration, Conners 3 forms can be scored using the MHS QuikScoreTM Format, MHS Scoring Software, or the online portal. Three useful reports can then be generated from online or software forms.


Conners 3 DSM-5 Scoring Update

The Conners 3rd Edition (Conners 3) has been updated to provide a new scoring option for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) Symptom Scales.

The Conners 3 now has the following two scoring options for the MHS Online Assessment Center and the MHS Scoring Software:

  1. DSM-IV-TR™: The DSM Symptom Scales are scored based on diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).
  2. DSM-5: The DSM Symptom Scales are scored based on diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Scoring Software users can download the update by clicking on “Check for Updates” under the Help menu within the Scoring Software. The MHS Online Assessment Center system has been updated automatically. After the update has been installed, users will have the option to choose to score with the DSM-IV-TR or DSM-5 criteria.

Updated DSM-5 hand-scored forms for the Conners 3 Parent, Teacher, and Self-Report QuikScore™ forms are now available for purchase. For pricing and ordering details, visit DSM-5 pricing or the pricing tab. Please note, an error has been found on the Conners 3 – Parent Quikscore form for the DSM-5 Symptom Count score on the ADHD inattentive scale. View full details here.

Complete details regarding the Conners 3 DSM-5 scoring option are available via the Conners 3 DSM-5 Supplement. Contact Client Services and choose one of the two options:

  1. Purchase the DSM-5 Supplement paper copy by contacting Client Services or select the pricing tab to place your order. Product Code: C30SUP, Price: $15
  2. Complete the form to download the DSM-5 Supplement for free. Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email with the Supplement.


Both test-retest reliability and internal consistency are very good for the Conners 3 scales and indices. Internal consistency coefficients for the total sample range from .77 to .97, and 2- to 4-week test-retest reliability coefficients (Cronbach’s alpha) range from .71 to .98 (all correlations significant, p < .001). Inter-rater reliability coefficients range from .52 to .94.


Support for the validity of the structure of the Conners 3 forms was obtained using factor analytic techniques on the derivation and confirmatory samples. Convergent and divergent validity were supported by examining the relationship between Conners 3 scores and other related measures. Statistical examination of the ability of the Conners 3 to differentiate youth with ADHD from youth in the general population and from youth in other clinical groups (including those with Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Learning Disorders) strongly supported the measure’s discriminative validity.

About the Author:

Keith Conners, whose work with hyperactive children established the first standards for diagnosing and treating what is now known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D. — and who late in life expressed misgivings about how loosely applied that label had become — died on July 5 in Durham, N.C. He was 84.

His wife, Carolyn, said the cause was heart failure.

The field of child psychiatry was itself still young when Dr. Conners joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the early 1960s as a clinical psychologist. Children with emotional and behavioral problems often got a variety of diagnoses, depending on the clinic, and often ended up being given strong tranquilizers as treatment. Working with Dr. Leon Eisenberg, a prominent child psychiatrist, Dr. Conners focused on a group of youngsters who were chronically restless, hyperactive, and sometimes aggressive.

Doctors had recognized this type — “hyperkinesis,” it was called, or “minimal brain dysfunction” — but Dr. Conners combined existing descriptions and, using statistical analysis, focused on the core symptoms.

The 39-item questionnaire he devised, called the Conners Rating Scale, quickly became the worldwide standard for assessing the severity of such problems and measuring improvement. It was later abbreviated to 10 items, giving child psychiatry a scientific foothold and anticipating by more than a decade the kind of checklists that would come to define all psychiatric diagnoses.

He used his scale to study the effects of stimulant drugs on hyperactive children. Doctors had known since the 1930s that amphetamines could, paradoxically, calm such youngsters; a Rhode Island doctor, Charles Bradley, had published a well-known report detailing striking improvements in attention and academic performance among many children at a children’s inpatient home he ran near Providence. But it was a series of rigorous studies by Dr. Conners, in the 1960s and ’70s, that established stimulants — namely Dexedrine and Ritalin — as the standard treatments.

In recent years, rates of A.D.H.D. diagnosis have soared and drugs like Adderall and Concerta have become so widely prescribed that many patient advocates and doctors see an epidemic of overmedication. The drugs have also become a staple on college and high school campuses as de facto study aids for any striving student, diagnosis or not.

But when Dr. Conners began publishing his trials, the diagnosis was handed out far less commonly, and the treatments often made children worse.

“We take the drugs for granted today, and they’ve become controversial, but at the time these kids were being given much stronger medications — tranquilizers — that had all sorts of side effects,” James Swanson, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, said in an interview. “Keith was a leader in switching the field from drugs that knocked kids out to those that enhance behavior and performance.”

Through the 1990s, Dr. Conners was a force in A.D.H.D. research. He played a leading role in a long-term government-financed trial — it began recruiting patients in 1994, published its first main finding in 1999 and ran through 2014 — that compared drug treatment with behavioral therapy, a system of incremental rewards that teaches self-control and has also proved effective.

After a year, the study found that drug treatment was most effective, and sales of stimulant medications spiked. But two years into the study, the gains on medication had vanished — and, in what was considered a concession, Dr. Conners wrote in 2001 that combined behavior-drug treatment was probably the best approach.

“Keith was the godfather of medication treatment for A.D.H.D.,” said William E. Pelham, director of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University. “That’s the best way to put it.”

Carmen Keith Conners was born on March 20, 1933, in Bingham, Utah, one of three children of Michael and Merle Conners. His father was a machinist, and his mother ran the household and worked at a department store.

The family moved frequently, as Michael Conners chased work, and eventually settled in Salt Lake City (Bingham was later razed to accommodate a copper mine). Keith entered high school there and soon proved himself an exceptional student. On a teacher’s recommendation, he applied for — and won — early entry to the University of Chicago. He left for college at 15 and never got a high school diploma.

After graduating from Chicago in 1953, he became a Rhodes scholar, earning a master’s degree from Oxford, Queens College, in 1955 in philosophy, psychology, and physiology. In 1960, he completed a doctorate in clinical psychology at Harvard.

Dr. Conners’s long career took him from Johns Hopkins to Harvard Medical School to the University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University, and finally, the Duke University School of Medicine, where he founded the Duke A.D.H.D. Clinic.

Dr. Conners, who lived in Durham, was married three times. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a twin sister, Carol Wagner; six children from his first two marriages, Anthony Conners, Rachel Carr, Sarah Homolka, Rebecca Conners, Michael Conners, and Katie Conners; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

After a half-century of publishing treatment studies and maintaining a clinical practice, Dr. Conners came to see the ascendance of A.D.H.D. as a mixed blessing. The explosion of the diagnosis and the reckless prescribing of stimulant drugs were hardly on his account alone: In 1991, the United States Education Department made students with A.D.H.D. officially eligible for special education, which accelerated rates of diagnosis, and drugmakers have aggressively marketed their products to parents, doctors, and adults who think they have attention deficits.

But in a 2013 interview with The New York Times, Dr. Conners, then a professor emeritus at Duke, expressed dismay that some 15 percent of high schoolers reported having been given an A.D.H.D. diagnosis.

“The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” he said. “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of the medication at unprecedented and unjustified levels.”


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