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01-09-2014 | Uitgave 7/2014

Quality of Life Research 7/2014

Comparing self and maternal reports of adolescents’ general health status: Do self and proxy reports differ in their relationships with covariates?

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 7/2014
Auteur:
Dana Garbarski

Abstract

Purpose

Given that mothers often—but do not always—report children’s health status in surveys, it is essential to gain an understanding of whether the relationship between children’s general health status and relevant covariates depends on who reports children’s general health status.

Methods

Using data from the first wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 cohort (N = 6,466), a nationally representative sample of adolescents in the United States ages 12 to 17 in 1997, the study first examined the concordance between self and maternal reports of adolescents’ general health status. Then, self and maternal reports of adolescents’ general health status were each regressed on health-relevant covariates, and tests of differences in coefficients across the models were estimated.

Results

Self and maternal reports of adolescents’ general health status are moderately concordant. Furthermore, the associations of adolescents’ general health status with adolescent BMI and the adolescent being female significantly differ across reporters, such that the negative relationships are even more negative with self compared to maternal reports of adolescents’ general health status. The associations of adolescents’ general health status with the measures of adolescents’ health limitations, maternal self-rated health, and certain sociodemographic covariates differ across reporters, such that each has a greater relationship with maternal compared to self-reports of adolescents’ general health status.

Conclusion

The results are important for interpreting research on the causes and consequences of child and adolescent health, as results across studies may not be comparable if the reporter is not the same.

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