, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 136-143
Date: 06 Jan 2009

Agreement between youth-reported and parent-reported psychopathology in a referred sample

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The study examined parent-youth agreement regarding reports on psychopathology among adolescents suffering from psychiatric disorders.


A total of 1,718 patients between the age of 11 and 18, as well as their parents, were assessed using the child behavior checklist (CBCL), and the youth self-report (YSR).


Poor to low agreement between parent- and adolescent-reported problem behavior on the internalizing scale, the total problem scale and moderate agreement concerning the externalizing scale of the CBCL and the YSR were found. Independent from the amount of psychiatric diagnoses, adolescents reported significantly less behavioral problems than their parents. Concerning externalizing problems, parent-youth disagreement was stronger for patients suffering from comorbid psychiatric disorders, than for adolescents displaying only one psychiatric disorder.


In clinically referred children, parents are likely to emphasize the severity of the difficulties, whereas adolescents’ under-report symptoms.