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13-06-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2017

Do Mothers and Fathers Perceive Their Child’s Problems and Prosocial Behaviors Differently?

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2017
Jongil Yuh


The aim of this study was to compare mothers’ and fathers’ ratings of their young children’s problems and prosocial behaviors using the Korean version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Furthermore, the present study examined whether parental depressive symptoms were linked to agreement between mothers’ and fathers’ ratings of their young children’s behavior. The sample consisted of 302 parents whose 5-year-old children attended childcare centers in Korea. The parents completed the Korean version of the SDQ and the Center for the Epidemiological Studies of Depression short form. The results revealed that both the mothers’ and fathers’ reports moderately correlated for both boys and girls, with greater correlations for externalizing problems than for internalizing problems. Whereas there were no significant differences between mothers’ and fathers’ reports of their children’s problems, mothers reported significantly more prosocial behaviors than fathers did, regardless of the child’s gender. Polynomial regression showed that mothers’ reports were more strongly associated with fathers’ report of their children’s prosocial behavior when mothers reported lower levels of depressive symptoms. The findings provide empirical evidence that mothers and fathers reported more similarities than differences in assessing child problems. Further analyses suggest considering maternal depressive symptoms when interpreting interparental agreement on their children’s prosocial behaviors.

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