Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 643–661 | Cite as

Informant Discrepancies in Assessing Child Dysfunction Relate to Dysfunction Within Mother-Child Interactions

  • Andres De Los Reyes
  • Alan E. KazdinEmail author

We examined whether mother-child discrepancies in perceived child behavior problems relate to dysfunctional interactions between mother and child and stress in the mother. Participants included 239 children (6–16 years old; 58 girls, 181 boys) referred for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior, and their mothers. Mother-child discrepancies in perceived child behavior problems were related to mother-child conflict. Moreover, maternal stress mediated this relationship. The findings suggest that discrepancies among mother and child evaluations of child functioning are not merely reflections of different perspectives or artifacts of the assessment process, but can form components of conceptual models that can be developed and tested to examine the interrelations among critical domains of child, parent, and family functioning.

Key Words:

attribution bias context disagreement discrepancies stress conflict 



This work was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH67540) awarded to the first author and by grants from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation (98-1872-98), and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH59029) awarded to the second author. We thank Douglas S. Mennin and Mitchell J. Prinstein for their helpful comments on a previous version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Doctoral Candidate, Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Director and John M. Musser Professor, Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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