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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220286 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescent-Mother Agreement About Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Direction and Predictors of Disagreement
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:36  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:950-962
Author(s): Erin T. Barker; Marc H. Bornstein; Diane L. Putnick; Charlene Hendricks; Joan T.D. Suwalsky
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined order and mean agreement between adolescent and maternal reports of adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems.
Abstract: The study showed that although parents might misestimate the level of problems their adolescents have (poor mean agreement), relative agreement between adolescents and parents was better than previously thought. Two-thirds to three-quarters of adolescents reported more problems than mothers. Accounting for the direction of discrepancies resulted in improved agreement between adolescents and mothers and differing patterns of predictors of discrepancies. The results also demonstrated the need to control relations between adolescent-reported problems and discrepancies when exploring predictors of discrepancies. When the direction of discrepancies is taken into consideration, parents of adolescents who themselves report more problems tend also to rate their adolescents as having more problems (moderate to strong order agreement). Mean-level disagreement between adolescent and parent reports of problems may not reflect a total lack of understanding of adolescent problems on the part of parents, but rather that parents are aware, to some extent, of their adolescents’ problems. Lack of agreement in means or checklists assessing adolescent problems might not necessarily reflect a complete lack of awareness about adolescent problems. As children enter adolescence, the issue of adolescent-parent agreement about problems assumes greater importance because rates of internalizing and externalizing problems increase. Moreover, changes in parent-child relationships, such as increased negative affect associated with parent-child conflict and adolescents spending more time with peers, might disrupt communications about adolescent problems. Discrepancies between adolescent and parent reports of problems might also arise if parent-adolescent relationships are emotionally distant, or if their communication patterns are characterized by negative interactions. The study discussed the limitation of the study as being the small community sample which included 133 European-American firstborn adolescents and their mothers. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Mental health; Parent-Child Relations; Parental influence
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Family counseling; Family structure; Family support
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