Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 75–95 | Cite as

Differences and similarities between children, mothers, and teachers as informants on disruptive child behavior

  • Rolf Loeber
  • Stephanie M. Green
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
  • Magda Stouthamer-Loeber
Article

Abstract

Prevalence rates of disruptive child behaviors, based on structured psychiatric interviews, are presented for samples of clinic-referred prepubertal boys at two sites to investigate differences and similarities among reports of the behaviors from children, parents, and teachers. Children reported significantly less hyperactive/inattentive and oppositional behaviors than either parents or teachers. In contrast, children did not differ from parents or teachers in their report on the prevalence of more serious conduct problems. These results were well replicated across two sites, despite the fact that there were significant differences between the sites in the level of hyperactive/inattentive child behaviors and conduct problems. The ranking of parents' and teachers' reported prevalence of specific child behavior problems in each of the three domains of disruptive behavior was strikingly similar. With one exception, the concordance between the prevalence ranking based on the children's reports was lower than that based on adults'reports, Children's reports on their own behavior did not predict various child handicaps 1 year later as well as did adults' reports. The results are discussed in relation to the usefulness of certain child behaviors in symptom lists for diagnostic purposes; the reliability of children's reports on their own behavior; and the possible reasons why prevalence rankings, as perceived by adults, are so similar.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. S. (1981). Behavioral problems and competencies reported by parents of normal and disturbed children aged four through sixteen.Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 46, 1–82.Google Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child-adolescent behavior and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlation for situational specificity.Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213–232.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (1987).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  4. Angold, A., Weissman, M. M., John, K., Merikangas, K. R., Prusoff, B. A., Wickramaratne, P., Gammon, G. D., & Warner, V. (1987). Parent and child reports of depressive symptoms in children at low and high risk of depression.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 28, 901–915.Google Scholar
  5. Cairns, S., & Cairns, B. D. (1984). Predicting aggressive patterns in girls and boys: A developmental study.Aggressive Behavior, 10, 227–242.Google Scholar
  6. Costello, A. J., Edelbrock, C., Dulcan, M. K., Kalas, R., & Klaric, S. (1987).Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC). Pittsburgh: Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  7. Edelbrock, C., Costello, A. J., Dulcan, M. K., Kalas, R., & Conover, N. C. (1985). Age differences in the reliability of the psychiatric interview of the child.Child Development, 56, 265–275.Google Scholar
  8. Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Ageton, S. S. (1985).Explaining delinquency and drug use. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Gagnon, C., Vitaro, F., & Tremblay, R. (1990).Mothers' and teachers' perceptions of boys and girls behavior problems in kindergarten. Montreal: School of Psycho-education, University of Montreal.Google Scholar
  10. Herjanic, B., & Reich, W. (1982). Development of a structured psychiatric interview for children: Agreement between child and parent on individual symptoms.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 307–324.Google Scholar
  11. Johnston, L. D., Bachman, J. G., & O'Malley, P. M. (1982).Student drug use, attitudes and beliefs: National trends. Washington, DC: National Institute of Drug Use.Google Scholar
  12. Keyes, S., & Block, J. (1984). Prevalence and patterns of substance use among early adolescents.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 13, 1–14.Google Scholar
  13. Loeber, R. (1987). The prevalence, correlates, and continuity of serious conduct problems in elementary school children.Criminology, 25, 615–642.Google Scholar
  14. Loeber, R., Green, S. M., & Lahey, B. B. (1990). Mental health professionals' perceptions of the utility of children, parents, and teachers as informants on childhood psychopathology.Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19(2), 136–143.Google Scholar
  15. Reich, W., & Earls, R. (1987). Rules for making psychiatric diagnosis in children on the basis of multiple sources of information: Preliminary strategies.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 15, 601–616.Google Scholar
  16. Richards, P., Berk, R. A., & Forster, B. (1979).Crime as play-delinquency in a middle class suburb. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.Google Scholar
  17. Robins, L. N. (1966).Deviant children grow up: A sociological and psychiatric study of sociopathic personality. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  18. Robins, L. N., & Wish, E. (1977). Childhood deviance as a developmental process: A study of 223 urban black men from birth to 18.Social Forces, 56, 448–473.Google Scholar
  19. Rutter, M. (1978). Family, area and school influences in the genesis of conduct disorders. In L. A. Hersov, M. Berger, & D. Shaffer (Eds.),Aggression and antisocial behavior in childhood and adolescence, (pp. 95–113). Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  20. Rutter, M., Tizard, J., & Whitmore, K. (1970).Education, health and behavior. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Verhulst, F. C., & Akkerhuis, G. W. (1989). Agreement between parents' and teachers' ratings of behavioral/emotional problems of children aged 4-12.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 123–136.Google Scholar
  22. Verhulst, F. C., Althaus, M., & Berden, F. M. G. (1987). The child assessment schedule: Parent child agreement and validity measures.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 28, 455–466.Google Scholar
  23. Vidoni, D. O., Fleming, N. J., & Mintz, S. (1983). Behavior problems of children as perceived by teachers, mental health professionals, and children.Psychology in the Schools, 96, 93–98.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Loeber
    • 1
  • Stephanie M. Green
    • 1
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
    • 2
  • Magda Stouthamer-Loeber
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MiamiMiami

Personalised recommendations