Why Mothers and Young Children Agree or Disagree in Their Reports of the Child’s Problem Behavior

AP Ringoot, J. van der Ende, PW Jansen, JR Measelle, M. Basten, P. So, VWV Jaddoe, A. Hofman, FC Verhulst, H. Tiemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined multiple determinants of discrepancies between mother and child reports of problem behavior. In 5,414 6-year-olds, child problem behavior was assessed by self-report using the Berkeley Puppet Interview and by maternal report using the Child Behavior Checklist. Patterns in mother–child reports were modeled using latent profile analysis. Four profiles, differing in problem level, and the direction and magnitude of mother–child discrepancies, were identified: one profile representing agreement (46 %), another representing slight discrepancies (30 %), and two representing higher problem levels and more discrepancies. In the latter two profiles either children (11 %) or mothers (13 %) reported more problems. Compared to the first profile, the second was predominantly characterized by a positive family environment, the third by child cognitive difficulties, and the fourth by harsh discipline and poor family functioning. Knowledge about specific child/family characteristics that contribute to mother–child discrepancies can help to interpret informants’ reports and to make diagnostic decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-927
Number of pages15
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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