Bruce A. Bracken, PhD and Barbara S. Boatwright, PhD
The CAT-A is a 108-item self-report instrument that is comprehensive, highly reliable, and sensitive to the symptomatology of attentional deficits both with and without hyperactivity for adults. Closely aligned with current diagnostic criteria, the CAT-A includes scales, clusters, and items that are sensitive to symptom presentation in differing contexts and as expressed as either internal sensations or overt behaviours.
The CAT-A consists of two parts: Part 1 (Childhood Memories) assesses the individual's memories of his/her behaviours and sensations as a child; and Part 2 (Current Symptoms) assesses parallel issues in adulthood. The CAT-A provides Clinical Index scores for the Childhood Memories section, the Current Symptoms section, as well as the summation of these two sections. In addition, three validity scales are embedded within the instrument-Negative Impression, Infrequency, and Positive Impression.
The CAT-A closely resembles the child version of the CAT (CAT-C). All item content, Clinical scales, Context clusters, and Locus clusters are similar and parallel between both forms. Together, the CAT-C and the CAT-A assess a continuum of behaviours and sensations across an individual's life span.
The CAT-A assessment materials consist of the CAT-A/CAT-C Professional Manual, the carbonless CAT-A Rating Form, and the CAT-A Score Summary/Profile Form. The Rating Form may be hand-scored, or item responses may be hand-entered into the CAT Software Portfolio (CAT-SP).
Standardisation and Validity
The CAT-A was standardised on a sample of 800 adults ages 19-79 years. The sample was well-matched to the U.S. population for gender, race/ethnicity and education level. Concurrent validity for the CAT-A was assessed via comparison with the Conners' Rating Scales, the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scales, and the Clinical Assessment of Depression, revealing correlations for both the non-clinical and combined clinical samples that are in the moderate-to-high range.
Special Features of the CAT-A
- Consists of a self-report form that is appropriate for individuals ages 19-79 years.
- Represents a well-defined, theoretically and empirically supported measure of behaviours, characteristics, and diagnostic criteria associated with ADD/ADHD.
- Thorough and complete score reporting system that includes standard scores (T scores), percentile ranks, confidence intervals, qualitative classifications, and graphical profile displays.
- Linkage to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria with comprehensive content coverage both within and across scales/clusters, assisting in rendering a differential diagnoses.
- Context clusters that indicate contexts in which ADD/ADHD symptoms are most problematic and Locus clusters that indicate the extent to which ADD/ADHD symptoms are experienced internally as sensations versus symptoms that are acted out upon as overt behaviours.
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