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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1994 Nov-Dec;33(9):1275-83.

Parent-child agreement in prepubertal depression: findings with a modified assessment method.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), College of Medicine, Oklahoma City.



Lack of or low parent-child (P-C) agreement is a well-documented problem in child psychopathology assessment. This study proposed to improve this agreement by using a modified assessment approach.


Ninety-three depressed prepubertal children, aged 6 to 12 years, and their mothers underwent an assessment procedure that combined multiple assessment measures given separately to child and mother (Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present Episode [K-SADS-P], Children's Depression Inventory, and traditional psychiatric interviews), confrontation of either and/or both informants with intra- and interinformant discrepancies, and senior clinician's "best estimate" clinical judgment to solve discrepant ratings. Correlational statistics (r, kappa, and z) were used to compare child's with mother's ratings on 20 K-SADS-P depressive symptoms.


The major hypothesis, that using our assessment procedure, P-C agreement would be significant and moderately high (r and kappa = .40 or higher), was confirmed. The second hypothesis on dissociation of P-C agreement on behavioral versus ideational symptoms was partially confirmed; the third hypothesis on adverse effects of maternal "depression" on P-C agreement was not confirmed.


Our assessment method has potential clinical application in enhancing diagnostic reliability of childhood depression assessment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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