Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 13-27

First online:

Are Discrepancies Among Child, Mother, and Father Reports on Children's Behavior Related to Parents' Psychological Symptoms and Aspects of Parent–Child Relationships?

  • Christina M. TreutlerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • , Catherine C. EpkinsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Texas Tech University Email author 

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Examined whether parents' symptoms and qualitative and quantitative aspects of parent–child relationships make unique contributions to mothers' and fathers' reports of, and mother–child, father–child, and father–mother discrepancies on, children's behavior. Participants were 100 children, aged 10–12, and their mothers and fathers. Parents' symptoms and parent–child relationships made unique contributions to both parents' ratings of externalizing behavior. Although parent–child relationship variables were related to both parents' ratings of internalizing behavior, only parents' symptoms made unique contributions. On mother–child and father–child discrepancies, differences emerged between mother and father, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Both fathers' and mothers' symptoms contributed to father–mother discrepancies on both behavior types, with parent–child relationships contributing unique variance to discrepancies on internalizing behavior. Results highlight the importance of each informant's symptoms and relationship variables in understanding informant discrepancies.

child assessment cross-informant agreement parent–child relationships