This page provides an overview of the DAWBA teacher questionnaire. If you want to see or download the interview in English or translation, click here.
The teacher questionnaire has three main sections, each taking up one page:
- The emotional disorders section covers nine common symptoms of anxiety and depression, and also asks whether there are any other emotional difficulties, with space to describe these. An earlier version of the DAWBA asked teachers about a much larger number of emotional symptoms, but this did not turn out to be of great value – teachers generally reported few symptoms even when the child had a definite emotional disorder according to parent or self report.
- The hyperactivity-inattention section covers all the inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive behaviours included in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Teachers are also asked to report how long children typically persist with tasks that they enjoy and are good at – useful for many reasons, including as a check on whether the teacher is a particularly lenient or strict rater of inattentiveness.
- The oppositional-conduct section asks about those behaviours relevant to an ICD-10 or DSM-IV diagnosis, omitting only those that are unlikely to be known to teachers , e.g. staying out late without permission.
When teachers do report definite symptoms in any of these three areas, they are asked to reply to supplementary questions on the impact of these problems on the child’s life. These domain-specific impact questions cover resultant distress and interference with learning and peer relationships.
The final page of the questionnaire has a few additional questions covering excessive dieting or slimming, tics, and any other concerns.
For studies that do not have any other measures of generalised and specific learning difficulties, it can be helpful to ask teachers about the child’s mental age and any marked problems in specific curriculum areas. The clinical raters can use this information when judging, for example, whether or not the reported attention span is in line with the child’s chronological and mental age.