A Comparison of Stress Measures in Children and Adolescents: A Self-Report Checklist Versus an Objectively Rated Interview
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- Wagner, C., Abela, J.R.Z. & Brozina, K. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2006) 28: 250. doi:10.1007/s10862-005-9010-9
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A self-report checklist assessing the occurrence of stressful life events in children and adolescents' lives was compared to an objectively rated interview to determine whether the checklist would introduce over-reporting of events or over-rating of event severity as a function of child/parent depressive symptoms, cognitive vulnerability, or anxiety. Participants completed the Children's Life Events Scale (CLES), the Life Events Interview (LEI), and questionnaires assessing cognitive vulnerability and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Findings yielded a positive association between the checklist and the interview. Contrary to hypotheses, depressive symptoms, cognitive vulnerability, and anxiety were not associated with over-reporting of events. Anxiety was associated with over-rating of event severity in parents but not children. Findings suggest that the checklist and interview may be equally viable approaches to assessing the occurrence of life events. Findings have mixed implications with regard to assessing event severity, as subjective reports may be systematically influenced by anxiety.