Accuracy of Informants: Do Parents Think That Mother Knows Best?

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Multiple informants, parental perceptions, children's emotional/behavioral problems

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A total of 200 mothers and fathers provided their opinions as to the accuracy of mothers, fathers, teachers, children's peers, and children themselves as informants of children's emotional/behavioral problems. The results showed that mothers and fathers had very similar patterns of perceptions of accuracy, although fathers' ratings showed less differentiation between informants than did mothers' ratings. Patterns were very similar for reports on children and adolescents. Overall, mothers were perceived to be more accurate in reporting internalizing problems; mothers and teachers (and fathers to a lesser extent) were perceived to be more accurate in reporting externalizing problems; mothers, fathers, and teachers were seen as more accurate in reporting children's adaptive behaviors, and mothers, fathers, and children were seen as more accurate in reporting family problems. The results are discussed in the context of multiple informants of children's and adolescents' emotional/behavioral problems.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, v. 25, issue 2, p. 165-171