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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2011;40(1):36-53. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2011.533402.

Internal consistency and associated characteristics of informant discrepancies in clinic referred youths age 11 to 17 years.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


In this study, we examined the internal consistency of informant discrepancies in reports of youth behavior and emotional problems and their unique relations with youth, caregiver, and family characteristics. In a heterogeneous multisite clinic sample of 420 youths (ages 11-17 years), high internal consistency estimates were observed across measures of informant discrepancies. Further, latent profile analyses identified systematic patterns of discrepancies, characterized by their magnitude and direction (i.e., which informant reported greater youth problems). In addition, informant discrepancies systematically and uniquely related to informants' own perspectives of youth mood problems, and these relations remained significant after taking into account multiple informants' reports of informant characteristics widely known to relate to informant discrepancies. These findings call into question the prevailing view of informant discrepancies as indicative of unreliability and/or bias on the part of informants' reports of youths' behavior.

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