Fathers' Ratings in the Assessment of Their Child's Anxiety Symptoms: A Comparison to Mothers' Ratings and Their Associations With Paternal Symptomatology

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We examined the comparability between mothers' and fathers' ratings in the assessment of their child's anxiety symptoms. The sample consisted of 78 youth (6 to 17 years) and their mothers and fathers who presented to a childhood anxiety disorders specialty research clinic. Using intraclass correlation coefficients, mother-father agreement of their child's anxiety symptoms was found to be moderate. Mean differences between mothers' and fathers' ratings of their child's anxiety were not significantly different. Both maternal and paternal self-ratings of psychopathology predicted respective ratings of their child's anxiety. Although either mothers or fathers can provide useful information, use of multiple informants is encouraged, especially when parental psychopathology is present. Additional implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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