College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Mother-Child Agreement on Self-Report of Anxiety in Abused Children

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1997

Publication Title

Journal of Anxiety Disorders

ISSN

0887-6185

Volume

11

Issue/No.

5

Abstract

This study investigates the lack of agreement in maternal and child report of child anxiety with a sample of abused and nonabused clinic-referred children. Based on the literature, it was predicted that nonabused clinic-referred children would report more symptoms of anxiety than their mothers would report for them. It was also predicted that mothers of abused children would report greater anxiety symptoms for their children than the children's self-report. Finally, it was predicted that maternal psychopathology, specifically anxiety, would increase the probability that mothers would overreport their children's anxiety. Mother-child agreement based on anxiety symptoms assessed by the Quay Behavior Problem Checklist and the Revised-Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale was obtained on 54 male and female outpatients, 5 to 16 years of age. Overall, mothers reported significantly more anxiety for their children, than the children's own self-report, irrespective of abuse history. The implications of the findings are discussed with respect to the validity of maternal and child report. Directions for future research are also offered.

DOI

10.1016/S0887-6185(97)00023-6