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10-11-2017 | Uitgave 5/2018

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 5/2018

Parent-Child Endorsement Discrepancies among Youth at Chronic-Risk for Depression

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 5/2018
Bridget A. Makol, Antonio J. Polo


Depression is one of the most common mental health problems among U.S. adolescents, particularly among Latinos. Parent-child ratings of the presence and severity of child depressive symptoms show only low-to-moderate agreement. However, research has failed to examine discrepancies in populations with the highest levels of unmet need and little is known about patterns and predictors of parent-child agreement in ratings of depressive symptoms among ethnic minority families in community settings. Using a sample of 184 low-income, predominantly Latino, 5th through 7th grade students (63.6% female) at chronic risk for depression, this study utilized exploratory Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to uncover patterns of parent-child endorsement of core diagnostic depressive symptoms. Overall, children reported higher levels of core (i.e., depressed mood, anhedonia, irritability) and secondary (e.g., sleep disturbances) depressive symptoms relative to their parents. The three latent classes identified include a low endorsement and high agreement class (LH), high endorsement and high agreement class (HH), and high child endorsement and low agreement class (HCL). Multinomial regression models revealed that previous mental health service use and higher externalizing problems were associated with HH class membership, relative to HCL class membership. Findings provide evidence that a substantial number of children may have depressive symptoms that go undetected by their parents. Access to services among children at-risk for depression may be increased with psychoeducation to improve parental awareness and stigma reduction.

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