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01-04-2014 | Uitgave 3/2014 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 3/2014

Maternal Expectancy Versus Objective Measures of Child Skill: Evidence for Absence of Positive Bias in Mothers’ Expectations of Children with Internalizing Disorders

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 3/2014
Auteurs:
Catherine M. Udy, Carol Newall, Suzanne Broeren, Jennifer L. Hudson
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10802-013-9793-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Parents of anxious children are thought to be more attuned to threat, which might translate into less positive bias in parental report of child coping and ability, unlike parents of non-anxious children. Maternal expectancy bias was examined in a sample of 43 clinically anxious (51 % female), 30 clinically anxious/depressed (50 % female), and 44 non-clinical control children (46 % female), 8–14 years of age. When compared to an objective observer’s ratings of the children, mothers of non-clinical children demonstrated a positive bias (i.e., over-rated their children’s performance) for both ratings of expected speech performance in absolute terms and relative to peers. Mothers in the clinical groups did not exhibit this positive expectancy bias. Moreover, mothers of clinical children reported lower expectations in absolute terms and relative to peers than mothers of non-clinical children. The data suggest that mothers of clinical children held accurate expectations for child performance when compared to the gold standard of an objective observer.

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