Many children and adolescents are assessed for potential psychological and behavioral problems through the parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Youth Self-Report (YSR) questionnaires. However, because these assessments are based on individual reports, they are subject to disagreement. This study considered multiple family factors and aspects of mothers' mental health in discrepancies between mothers' and youths' ratings on the CBCL and YSR.
This study involved 926 mothers and their adolescent children (48.7% female children, mean age = 14.4 years) who completed the CBCL and YSR questionnaires, respectively.
Mothers who experienced more severe mental health problems reported more internalizing symptoms of their adolescent relative to the adolescent's ratings.
Findings indicate that mothers' poor mental health is related to their reports of more frequent psychological problems in their adolescents. To verify the accuracy of maternal reports, additional raters and additional methods, such as behavioral observation and clinical interview, would be helpful.