Potential teacher factors which might be important to consider in such compatibility equations are discussed, along with the implications of these variables for school-based assessment and intervention processes and future research.
A substantial literature on children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has accumulated over the past 2 decades. An impressive portion of this literature has addressed the difficulties students with ADHD experience in school classrooms and the efficacy of interventions to minimize these difficulties. Medication and behaviour management procedures remain the two most commonly employed school-based interventions for children with ADHD (Rapport, 1992, 155-163). Due to well-documented limitations associated with both strategies, some combination of the two is generally accepted as the optimal approach to treatment. Nevertheless, an increasingly common finding in studies which examine the efficacy of such a combined approach to treatment is the considerable variability in treatment response among individual students (Pelham, 1993). As such, a case-by-case assessment of treatment ingredients and potencies is necessary (Abramowitz, 1994; Hoza, 1992). Hence, successful school outcomes for students with ADHD depend upon the degree to which treatment components and potencies match the needs of particular children. This "match" between treatment and student may best be conceptualized as a "compatibility equation" (in this case, student-treatment compatibility) in which characteristics of both child and treatment are taken into consideration in planning treatment and evaluating outcome.
Studies examining student response to treatment can be criticized for an almost singular focus on treatment ingredients, as well as a relative neglect of student characteristics that may mediate treatment outcome. Yet perhaps the most striking limitation of school-based treatment outcome research has been the lack of consideration of teacher characteristics that may have a significant bearing on outcome. Two additional compatibility equations --teacher-treatment compatibility (the match between different teachers and different treatment ingredients and potencies) and student-teacher compatibility (the match between a particular teacher and a particular student with ADHD with regard to a variety of factors) -- have been virtually ignored. This article suggests that a more adequate and predictive model from which to conceptualize classroom outcome for students with ADHD will be one in which "teacher factors" are given greater consideration.
Goodness-of-Fit and System Theory
The terms compatibility and match can be traced most directly to the goodness-of-fit literature (Thomas, 1998). Goodness-of-fit is a concept that has been applied productively to child-care-giver interactions (Bell & Harper, 2003; Thomas & Chess, 2001); several authors have noted that the concept may be relevant to child-teacher