Distinguishing Allergic from Nonallergic Elementary School Children with the Conners Teacher Rating Scale and a Physical Signs and Symptoms Checklist
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Topetzes, Nich J.
The purpose of this study was to determine if teachers could distinguish allergic from nonallergic children on the basis of behavioral indexes and physical symptoms. Two samples were used in the study. Both samples were limited to children enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade in the Franklin School District #5, Franklin, Wisconsin. The allergic sample was composed of 49 children, 28 males and 21 females. The nonallergic sample consisted of 49 children, 26 males and 23 females. Subjects were randomly selected and assigned to each of the respective groups on the basis of presence or absence of allergy as indicated in school health records. Each classroom teacher was asked to complete a scale and a checklist for each of two subjects, one allergic subject and one nonallergic subject, in his/her classroom. The dependent variables in the study were based on measures obtained from the two teacher-completed scales. The Conners Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS) provided measures on five factors: (1) Conduct Problem, (2) Inattentive-Passive, (3) Tension-Anxiety, (4) Hyperactivity, and (5) Sociability. The Physical Signs and Symptoms Checklist (PSSC) provided the total number of allergic signs and symptoms score, which was used as the sixth dependent measure in this study. The scores obtained from the CTRS were used as the data for entry into a MANOVA. There were two independent variables, each with two levels: diagnostic condition (allergic and nonallergic), and sex (male and female). The scores obtained on the PSSC were used as data for testing the significance of the difference between two independent proportions with the normal curve test. The MANOVA performed on the CTRS scores indicated that there were no significant differences between allergics and nonallergics on any of the five factors. Likewise, there were no significant differences between males and females on any of the five CTRS factors. The Z-tests performed on the PSSC scores indicated that teachers observed significantly more nasal signs, eye signs, CNS signs, and total signs in allergics than in nonallergics. The results of this investigation did not support the hypotheses that allergics differ from nonallergics on teacher ratings of behavior. However, teachers were able to distinguish between the two groups on the basis of the number of physical signs and symptoms of allergy observed. As expected, the greater proportion of symptoms was seen in the allergic group.