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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Aug;193(8):528-34.

Concordance of reports of mental health functioning by adolescents and their caregivers: a comparison of European, African and Latino Americans.

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School of Public Health, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine the concordance of parental and adolescent reports of adolescents having emotional and behavioral problems. Data were collected from youths (age 11-17) and adult caregivers from a community-based sample of households. The sample consisted of 4175 youths and their caregivers (37.8% European, 35.0% African, 25.4% Latino, and 1.8% other American). Indicators of emotional and/or behavioral problems were global indicators: perceived mental health, life satisfaction, happiness, interpersonal problems at home, and problems at school. Overall, parent-child concordance on the indicators of mental health was low, with a mean kappa value of 0.12. In multivariate analyses, European American parent-youth dyads were significantly more likely to be concordant on reports of perceived mental health, problems at home, and problems at school than African American and Latino dyads. Our data suggest that ethnicity is a significant factor in parental labeling and awareness of adolescent mental health problems. Future research should examine whether the extent to which greater lack of concordance on the indicators of mental health by minority parent-child dyads plays a role in entry into and retention in mental health care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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