Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Campus Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Psychometric Properties, Structured Interview, Disruptive Behaviors, ADHD, ODD, Preschool Children


The present study examined the psychometric properties of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV), specifically the disruptive behavior module for preschool-age children. The participants were 128 children (M = 4.43 years, SD = .54; Girls = 63) of African American (n = 37), European American (n = 41), Latino American (n = 38), and Mixed Ethnic (n = 12) background from Western Massachusetts. The overall internal consistency, concurrent validity, and predictive validity of the ADHD and ODD subsections were examined. Gender and ethnicity were examined as potential moderators of those as well. The DISC-IV and a behavior rating scale for teachers were administered at the beginning of the school year and the administration of the rating scale occurred again at end of the school year. The DISC-IV ADHD and ODD subsections exhibited acceptable overall internal consistency. The concurrent validity of the ADHD subsection was also found, but not for the ODD subsection. Most importantly, both DISC-IV subsections exhibited overall predictive validity, above initial teacher ratings. Partially supporting our hypotheses, ethnicity moderated the concurrent validity of the DISC-IV ADHD subsection, with DISC-IV scores of African American children having a stronger association with teachers’ ratings; boys also exhibited a stronger association than girls although not reaching significance. Also approaching significance, the DISC ADHD subsection appeared to predict year-end teacher ratings better for African American children than for European American and Latino American children. Overall, the DISC-IV was found to be a psychometrically reliable and valid diagnostic instrument for preschool-age children.


First Advisor

David H. Arnold