The objective of the present study was to assess the concordance between parent
report regarding different domains of pediatric health, headache
in particular. In addition, the influence of potential moderator variables on the agreement
between parents and children was examined.
In an epidemiologic study on a randomly drawn sample of households with at least 1 child
in the family between 7 and 14 years of age (community registries), various pediatric health disturbances (headache
, other pains, somatic symptoms
, and depression/anxiety
) were assessed via both child
(from the age of 9 y on) and parent
A relatively high parent
=0.61) was found regarding the variable headache
frequency, whereas consensus regarding other pains was, for the most part, markedly lower. The lowest agreement
=0.27) was found for depression/anxiety
symptoms. A moderator analysis (with age, sex, and parental headache
) between child
failed to reveal significant differences regarding the degree of agreement
between the 2 data sources. Children reported more frequent and more severe symptoms in all health domains.
The examined potential moderator variables did not elucidate processes underlying the differences in child
and parent agreement
. There is no convincing evidence that the children's appraisal is less valid than their parents'. In summary, parents' reports cannot be viewed as a substitute for children's reports in pediatric pain
and health assessment. Instead, each perspective represents a unique subjective reality and as such, both are of importance for research on pediatric pain
and other health variables.