The diagnostic adaptive behavior scale: evaluating its diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale (DABS) was constructed with items across three domains--conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills--and normed on a representative sample of American individuals from 4 to 21 years of age. The DABS was developed to focus its assessment around the decision point for determining the presence or absence of significant limitations of adaptive behavior for the diagnosis of Intellectual Disability (ID). The purpose of this study, which was composed of 125 individuals with and 933 without an ID-related diagnosis, was to determine the ability of the DABS to correctly identify the individuals with and without ID (i.e., sensitivity and specificity). The results indicate that the DABS sensitivity coefficients ranged from 81% to 98%, specificity coefficients ranged from 89% to 91%, and that the Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve were excellent or good. These results indicate that the DABS has very good levels of diagnostic efficiency.

published proceedings

  • Res Dev Disabil

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Balboni, G., Tass, M. J., Schalock, R. L., Borthwick-Duffy, S. A., Spreat, S., Thissen, D., ... Navas, P.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Balboni, Giulia||Tassé, Marc J||Schalock, Robert L||Borthwick-Duffy, Sharon A||Spreat, Scott||Thissen, David||Widaman, Keith F||Zhang, Dalun||Navas, Patricia

publication date

  • January 2014