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Peer Conflict Scale


The Checkmate Plus Peer Conflict Scale (Gadow, 1986) contains 10 items that assess interpersonal peer aggression and are based on the physical and nonphysical aggression categories from the Checkmate Plus ADHD School Observation Code (ADHD-SOC). In the ADHD-SOC the term physical aggression refers to negative physical contact against another person using a body part (e.g., hitting, biting, kicking, tripping, pushing) or an implement (e.g., striking another child with an object) AND the aggressee responds either neutrally or negatively (e.g., strikes back, grimaces, complains).The term nonphysical aggression refers to three subcategories of aggressive behavior:  verbal aggression, symbolic aggression, and object aggression.  Verbal and symbolic aggression are interpersonal, but the aggressor does not make physical contact with the aggressee.  These include verbalizations and physical gestures that are abusive or threatening and directed toward other people.  These two subcategories encompass all negative, noncontact communication.  They also include stealing or taking the possessions of another person when the possessions are not on the victim's (aggressee's) body.  Object aggression is aggressive behavior directed toward objects in the child's environment (e.g., the observed child inflicts physical damage on an object by hitting, throwing, and so forth).  If the object is thrown at another person, this is considered physical aggression.


The Peer Conflict Scale appears in the following Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories:


  • Early Childhood Inventory (preschool)

  • Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory (elementary & secondary school)

  • ADHD-Symptom Checklist (children and adolescents)


The Peer Conflict Scale of Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories is one of the most well-documented measures of peer aggression and is reported on in numerous scientific publications, representative examples of which are Daniels, Volpe, Briesch, and Gadow, 2017; Gadow, 1986; Gadow, Arnold, Molina, et al., 2014; Gadow, Brown, Arnold, et al., 2016; Gadow and Nolan, 1993, 2002; Gadow, Nolan, Sverd, J., et al., 1990; Giacobo, Jane, Bonillo, et al., 2012; Nolan and Gadow, 1994; and Volpe and Gadow, 2010. Abstracts of these and other studies about the Peer Conflict Scale can be accessed by clicking the link to Research Bibliography.




            Daniels, B., Volpe, R.J., Briesch, A.M., & Gadow, K.D. (2017). Dependability and treatment sensitivity of multi-item direct behavior rating scales for interpersonal peer conflict. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 43(1), 48-59. doi: 10.1177/1534508417698456

            Gadow, K.D. (1986). Peer Conflict Scale. Stony Brook, NY: State University of New York, Department of Psychiatry.

            Gadow, K. D., Arnold, L. E., Molina, B. S., Findling, R. L., Bukstein, O. G., Brown, N. V., ... & Aman, M. G. (2014). Risperidone added to parent training and stimulant medication: effects on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and peer aggression. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(9), 948-959. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2014.05.008

            Gadow, K.D., Brown, N.V., Arnold, L.E., Buchan-Page, K.A., Bukstein, O.G., Butter, E., Farmer, C.A., Findling, R.L., Kolko, D.J., Molina, B.S.G., et al. (2016). Severely aggressive children receiving stimulant medication versus stimulant and risperidone: 12-month follow-up of the TOSCA trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(6), 469-478. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.03.014 

            Gadow, K.D., & Nolan, E.E. (1993). Practical considerations in conducting school-based medication evaluations for children with hyperactivity. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 1, 118-126. doi: 10.1177/106342669300100205

            Gadow, K.D., & Nolan, E.E. (2002). Differences between preschool children with ODD, ADHD, and ODD+ADHD symptoms. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 191-201. doi: 10.1111/1469-7610.00012

            Gadow, K.D., Nolan, E.E., Sverd, J., et al. (1990). methylphenidate in aggressive-hyperactive boys: I. Effects on peer aggression in public school settings. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 710-718. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199009000-00006

            Giacobo, RS, Jane, MC, Bonillo, A, Ballespi, S, & Diaz-Reganon, N (2012). Somatic symptoms, severe mood dysregulation, and aggressiveness in preschool children. European Journal of Pediatrics, 171, 111-119. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1495-5

            Nolan, E.E., & Gadow, K.D. (1994). Relation between ratings and observations of stimulant drug response in hyperactive children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 23, 78-90. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp2301 10

            Volpe, R.J., & Gadow, K.D. (2010). Creating abbreviated rating scales to monitor classroom inattention-overactivity, aggression, and peer conflict: Reliability, validity, and treatment sensitivity. School Psychology Review, 39, 350-363. doi: 10.1080/02796015.2010.12087757   


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