Date of Submission
Doctor of Health Science
Karl Minges, Ph.D., MPH
Melissa Whitson, Ph.D.
Michael Urban, OTD, MBA, M.S.
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Mental Disorders
Attention-deficit disorder in adolescence, Mental illness, State departments of education
Background: There is currently limited literature on the diagnostic process for Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for children and adolescents in the Connecticut school system. The current literature describes a high-level process outlined by the federal government's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Purpose: This research study reviewed the diagnostic process for ADHD in the Connecticut school system to outline the process school diagnostic teams are using. This study also measured potential opportunities for performance improvement in the diagnostic process of a school system.
Methodology: Semi-structured interviews with school psychologists in Connecticut provided data to clarify the process, methods, and tools used to evaluate and diagnose ADHD in the Connecticut school system. Results: The findings showed that the Connecticut Department of Education does not provide guidelines for evaluation methods or tools to use in the evaluation phase of the diagnostic process. Because of that, school diagnostic teams use various evaluation methods and tools to perform diagnostic functions in the Connecticut school system.
Discussion: The variation in assessment methods and tools being used could be leading to errors in diagnostic outcomes for ADHD. The Connecticut Department of Education should develop guidelines for preferred assessment methods and tools that school diagnostic teams should use within the diagnostic process. Providing guidelines for methods and tools can create a unified diagnostic approach and lead to more efficient health outcomes for children and adolescents in Connecticut.
Robinson, DaShawn Sr., "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evaluating the Diagnostic Process for Children and Adolescents in the Connecticut School System" (2023). Health Science Doctoral Thesis. 3.
Available for download on Sunday, September 14, 2025