Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behavior®

  • Quick and accurate analysis of dual diagnosis, or the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorder and intellectual disability

  • Cited in two national awards

This test screens for mental health problems in adolescents and adults with an intellectual disability, or what is commonly called "dual diagnosis." The instrument's empirically-derived scales evaluate the probability that a person has an aggressive disorder, autism, avoidant disorder, dependent personality disorder, depression, paranoia, and psychosis. The instrument also evaluates the probability of drug abuse, overactivity, self-injury, sexual problems, stealing, and suicidal tendencies.

The Reiss Screen is completed by caregivers, teachers, work supervisors, or parents. Respondents rate the extent to which each of 38 symptoms of psychiatric disorder is no problem, a problem, or a major problem in the person's life. Each item is defined in nontechnical language and includes concrete examples. The test is normed for adolescents and adults with all levels of severity of intellectual disability.

The test screens for psychiatric disorder in three different ways: severity of challenging behavior, psychiatric diagnosis, and rare but significant symptoms such as suicidal behavior. A positive result on any of the 14 scores indicates the person should be referred for further professional evaluation. The total score, a measure of severity of disorder, is well suited to assess progress during therapeutic interventions.

The total score is a valid indicator of whether or not a person with an intellectual disability also has a mental health problem, with a full standard deviation separating the criterion groups. The eight scale scores also have a high degree of validity: They were found to predict independent psychiatric diagnoses, with agreement ranging from 72.9 to 81.1 percent.

Steven Reiss, Ph.D. was educated at Dartmouth College, Yale University, and Harvard University. As a tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at The Ohio State University, Reiss conducted extensive research on the mental health aspects of intellectual disabilities. His work was recognized with five national awards and has been used to help justify hundreds of new clinics in North America and Europe that serve the needs of individuals with a dual diagnosis.

Ages: The Reiss Screen is normed for adolescents and adults ages 18 and older with all levels of severity of intellectual disability.

Length: The rating form typically takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Qualified Users: Licensed or registered psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, or other mental health professionals with at least one course in psychometric testing from an accredited institution of higher education and at least one year of successful professional experience working with people with intellectual disabilities.

Pricing: Downloadable Version (PDF file, Word file). Paper-and-Pencil Version (PDF file, Word file).