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Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 5/2009

01-07-2009

Linking Informant Discrepancies to Observed Variations in Young Children’s Disruptive Behavior

Auteurs: Andres De Los Reyes, David B. Henry, Patrick H. Tolan, Lauren S. Wakschlag

Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 5/2009

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Abstract

Prior work has not tested the basic theoretical notion that informant discrepancies in reports of children’s behavior exist, in part, because different informants observe children’s behavior in different settings. We examined patterns of observed preschool disruptive behavior across varying social contexts in the laboratory and whether they related to parent-teacher rating discrepancies of disruptive behavior in a sample of 327 preschoolers. Observed disruptive behavior was assessed with a lab-based developmentally sensitive diagnostic observation paradigm that assesses disruptive behavior across three interactions with the child with parent and examiner. Latent class analysis identified four patterns of disruptive behavior: (a) low across parent and examiner contexts, (b) high with parent only, (c) high with examiner only, and (d) high with parent and examiner. Observed disruptive behavior specific to the parent and examiner contexts were uniquely related to parent-identified and teacher-identified disruptive behavior, respectively. Further, observed disruptive behavior across both parent and examiner contexts was associated with disruptive behavior as identified by both informants. Links between observed behavior and informant discrepancies were not explained by child impairment or observed problematic parenting. Findings provide the first laboratory-based support for the Attribution Bias Context Model (De Los Reyes and Kazdin Psychological Bulletin 131:483–509, 2005), which posits that informant discrepancies are indicative of cross-contextual variability in children’s behavior and informants’ perspectives on this behavior. These findings have important implications for clinical assessment, treatment outcomes, and developmental psychopathology research.
Voetnoten
1
Two issues arise in relation to the procedures. The first is the length of time that the teachers tended to know the children for whom they were reporting at the time of the assessment. The second is the length of time between parent and teacher disruptive behavior assessments. On average, teachers knew the children for 9.52 (SD = 10.49) months, and the mean lag (in days) between parent and teacher assessments was 36.48 (SD = 32.04). Approximately 80% of teachers knew the child for 12 months or less, and approximately 60% of the parent and teacher assessments had a lag of administration of 32 days or less. Given the range on these variables, we were interested in examining whether they accounted for variance in a dimensional measure of parent-teacher disagreement. To assess disagreement on a continuous scale, we used the parallel C-GAS reports of child impairment completed by parent and teacher and calculated a standardized difference score, consistent with current recommendations (De Los Reyes and Kazdin, 2004). Specifically, we converted each of the dimensional parent and teacher C-GAS scores into z scores and then subtracted the teacher z score from the parent z score. The standardized difference score of parent and teacher reports of child impairment did not significantly correlate with either the length of time that the teacher knew the child, r = -0.05, nor the lag between parent and teacher assessments, r = 0.01. Thus, the findings were inconclusive as to whether these variables were related to parent-teacher disagreements on reports of child behavior.
 
2
As an aside, the increase of children identified in the Not Disruptive class is consistent with the decrease at 1-year follow-up of high disruptive behavior symptoms children identified by both parents (high disruptive behavior = 61 [21.2%]; low disruptive behavior = 227 [78.8%]) and teachers (high disruptive behavior = 45 [15.6%]; low disruptive behavior = 243 [84.4%]).
 
3
Only two cases differed in their classifications between the original LCA and the LCA controlling for observed parenting. These two cases were classified in the Disruptive with Examiner class in the observed parenting LCA whereas they were classified in the Disruptive with Parent class in the original LCA.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Linking Informant Discrepancies to Observed Variations in Young Children’s Disruptive Behavior
Auteurs
Andres De Los Reyes
David B. Henry
Patrick H. Tolan
Lauren S. Wakschlag
Publicatiedatum
01-07-2009
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology / Uitgave 5/2009
Print ISSN: 2730-7166
Elektronisch ISSN: 2730-7174
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-009-9307-3