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05-07-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2016

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2016

Congruence of Parents’ and Children’s Perceptions of Parenting: A Meta-Analysis

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2016
Katherine E. Korelitz, Judy Garber
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10964-016-0524-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Parents and children often report different perspectives about parents’ behaviors. Such lack of congruence is important because it may reflect problems in their relationship and may be associated with children’s maladjustment. We conducted a systematic, quantitative review of parent–child agreement and discrepancy about parenting behaviors, and potential moderators (e.g., children’s age, race, clinical status, family intactness) of the extent of mother–child and father–child congruence. The meta-analyses included 85 studies with 476 effect sizes of the degree of agreement and discrepancy in parent–child reports of three parenting behaviors: Acceptance, Psychological Control, and Behavioral Control assessed with one of the most widely-used measures of parenting—the Children’s Report of Parental Behavior Inventory. Mother–child and father–child dyads exhibited significant but modest levels of agreement (r) across parenting constructs. The amount and direction of discrepancy (Hedges’ g) varied by the parenting construct and parents’ sex. Overall, parents’ reports were more favorable than their children’s report about the parents’ behaviors. Significant associations were found between the magnitude of agreement/discrepancy and children’s age, race, clinical status, and family intactness. Moderators differed by parenting construct, parents’ sex, and type of effect size. Implications of these findings for researchers and clinicians are discussed and highlight the need for further research about the meaning of parent–child incongruence, its relation to children’s psychopathology, and interventions for reducing it.

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