Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 3360–3369 | Cite as

Associations of Parent-Adolescent Discrepancies in Family Cohesion and Conflict with Adolescent Impairment

  • Yingcheng Xu
  • Rhonda C. BoydEmail author
  • Laura Butler
  • Tyler M. Moore
  • Tami D. Benton
Original Paper


Family cohesion and family conflict are important protective and risk factors respectively in the development of child psychopathology. Our study examines parent-adolescent discrepancy of the family environment constructs, family cohesion and family conflict, and their associations with adolescent impairment. The sample consists of 141 parent-adolescent dyads evaluated at an outpatient behavioral health clinic. The mean adolescent age is 14.8 (range 11–18) while the mean parent age is 48.9 (range 32–67). Findings show that adolescents report significantly less family cohesion but do not differ significantly in reports of family conflict. Greater family cohesion is associated with less adolescent impairment by multiple reporters. Nonetheless, greater family conflict is associated with more adolescent impairment by the same reporter. The results show that both adolescent and parent reports of family cohesion and conflict are important to consider when integrating information gathered in a clinical assessment.


Family environment Reporter discrepancy Family cohesion Family conflict Impairment 



The Speizle Mood Disorder Research Fund funded this study.

Author Contributions

Y.X.: collaborated with the design of the study, assisted with data analyses, and wrote portions of the manuscript. R.C.B.: collaborated with the design of the study, analyzed data, and wrote portions of the manuscript. L.B.: assisted with data analyses, in writing Methods and editing the manuscript. T.M.M.: collaborated with data analyses, writing of the Methods and Results and editing the manuscript. T.D.B.: collaborated with the design of the larger registry where data were derived and provided feedback on writing and editing of manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

The hospital’s Internal Review Board approved a waiver of consent for the use of de-identified clinical data from the data registry that was used in this investigation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingcheng Xu
    • 1
  • Rhonda C. Boyd
    • 2
    Email author
  • Laura Butler
    • 3
  • Tyler M. Moore
    • 1
  • Tami D. Benton
    • 2
  1. 1.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.The Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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