Embedded validity indicators in Conners' CPT-II: Do adult cutoffs work the same way in children?

Laszlo A Erdodi, Jonathan D Lichtenstein, Jaspreet K Rai, Lloyd Flaro
Applied Neuropsychology. Child 2017, 6 (4): 355-363
In previous research, several subscales of Conners' CPT-II were found to be useful as performance validity tests (PVTs) when administered to adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Furthermore, invalid response sets were associated with inflated scores on several CPT-II scales. The present study proposed to investigate whether these findings would replicate in a pediatric sample. The analyses were based on archival data from 15 children with TBI. The Omissions, Hit RT, Perseverations, and Hit RT BC scales proved effective at differentiating valid and invalid response sets. However, Commission errors were unrelated to scores on PVTs. A composite measure based on these four scores was a superior and more stable validity indicator than individual scales. Two or more T-scores >65 on any of these scales resulted in acceptable overall specificity (.86-1.00) and variable sensitivity (.00-1.00). Scores on CPT-II scales were generally higher among those who failed the reference PVTs. Results suggest that embedded CPT-II validity indices developed in adult TBI samples function similarly in children with TBI, with some notable exceptions. Although the use of adult PVT cutoffs in pediatric assessment is a common practice, and broadly supported by the present findings, there remains a clear need for the independent empirical validation of adult PVTs in children.

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