Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behavior

Ages: 16 & Up
Time: 10 minutes
  • Quick and accurate analysis of dual diagnosis
  • Uses caretaker ratings of behavior and symptoms
  • Cited in two national awards

This test screens for mental health problems in adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities, 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, ages 16 and up, 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 that the person should be referred for further professional evaluation. The total score, a measure of severity of disorder, is well suited to assess progress over time.

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, or the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders and developmental disabilities. His work was recognized with five national awards and has been used to help justify hundreds of new psychiatric and psychological clinics in North America and Europe.

McIntyre, L.L., Blacher, J., & Baker, B.L. (2002). Behaviour/mental health problems in young adults with intellectual disability: The impact on families. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 46, 239-249.

Gustafsson, C., & Sonnander, K. (2002). Psychometric evaluation of a Swedish version of the Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behvaior. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 46, 218-229.

Stolker, J.J., Koedoot, P.J., Heerdink, E.R., Leufkens, H.G.M., & Nolen, W.A. (2002). Psychotropic drug use in intellectually disabled group-home residents with behavioural problems. Pharmacopsychiatry, 35, 19-23.

Walsh, K.K., & Shenouda, N. (1999). Correlations among Reiss Screen, the Adaptive Behavior Scale II, and Aberrant Behavior Checklist. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 104, 236-248.

Havercamp, S.M, & Reiss, S. (1997). The Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behavior: Confirmatory factor analysis. Behavior Research and Therapy, 35, 967-971.

Reiss, S. (1997). Comments on the Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behavior and its factor structure. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 41, 346-354.

Van Minnen, A., Savelsberg, P. M., & Hoogduin, K. A. L. (1995). A Dutch version of the Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behavior. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 16, 43-49.

Reiss, S. (1990). Prevalence of dual diagnosis in community-based day programs in the Chicago metropolitan area. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 94, 578-585.

Order Form - Internet Version (pdf)
Order Form - Internet Version (word)
Order Form - Paper-and-Pencil Version (pdf)
Order Form - Paper-and-Pencil Version (word)
Shipping Charges for Overseas Orders (pdf)
Shipping Charges for Overseas Orders (word)