, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 657-663

Parent-adolescent agreement on emotional and behavioral problems

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Background: The aim of the study is to report parent/youth self-report agreement on emotional and behavioral symptoms among 15- to 16-year-old adolescents. Methods: A completed Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report were obtained from 580 subjects. Results: Adolescents reported significantly more problem behaviors than their parents. Adolescent girls reported a significantly higher level of distress than boys in most symptom domains. The discrepancies between parent reports and youth self-reports were greater, especially for internalizing symptoms, for girls than for boys. Conclusions: Many adolescents in need of psychiatric assessment do not receive appropriate help because their problems remain unnoticed by adults. Internalizing problems among girls seem especially likely to remain unrecognized by adults.

Accepted: 21 October 1999