Whose Depression Relates to Discrepancies? Testing Relations Between Informant Characteristics and Informant Discrepancies From Both Informants' Perspectives

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Abstract

This study examined whether mothers' and children's depressive symptoms were each uniquely related to mother-child rating discrepancies on a multidimensional dyadic construct: domains associated with parental monitoring (i.e., Child Disclosure, Parental Knowledge, and Parental Solicitation). Participants included a community sample of 335 mother/female-caregiver and child dyads (182 girls, 153 boys; 9-16 years old). Children's depressive symptoms were consistently related to each of the three domains of mother-child discrepancies. Mothers' depressive symptoms were related to perceived discrepancies in two domains (Child Disclosure and Parental Knowledge). Furthermore, these relations could not be accounted for by other informant characteristics (maternal stress, child age, child gender, child ethnicity). Findings provide important empirical support for theory suggesting that both informants' perspectives meaningfully contribute to their discrepancies in perceived behavior. Consideration of both informants' perspectives leads to valuable information as to whether any particular characteristic is an important correlate of discrepancies.

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