The battery for NKI-RS was constructed based on discussions with assessment developers, expert consultants, and a formal presentation to the Child Mind Institute’s Scientific Research Council (SRC). We prioritized inclusion of empirically validated measures in the public domain, as those are most amenable to widespread adoption in other studies. Additionally, we prioritized use of measures that could be administered and compared across the lifespan. In attempting to serve as a resource for future studies, the NKI-RS compares commonly used assessments that measure the same construct, behavior, or disorder. We also compare proprietary and non-proprietary assessments [e.g., the Conners ADHD Scales (Conners et al., 1997; Conners, 1999) versus Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD-Symptoms and Normal-Behavior Scale (SWAN; Hay et al., 2007)], and can assess the construct validity of different assessments [e.g., the Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (Gur et al., 2001) versus the Delis–Kaplan Executive Functioning System (Delis et al., 2004)].
Our approach, similar to that of the Brain Genomics Superstruct (Yeo et al., 2011), differs from the more common model of centering collaborative efforts on a particular disorder or set of disorders, which can limit the applicability of a comparison sample. Given the current focus on developing a dimensional framework for psychiatric illnesses and patterns of comorbidity (Chabernaud et al., 2012), we adopted broad phenotypic characterization for NKI-RS. By employing a common protocol that covers a wide array of domains of psychiatric, cognitive, and behavioral functions, we can make direct comparisons between psychiatric illnesses and increase the feasibility of determining overlap and distinctions among their neural correlates.