Parents vs. Youth agreement on psy-chosocial variables in a semi-structured interview for genetic research

W. Reich, L. Fox, E. Rasmussen, T. Reich, R. Crowe, H. Edenberg, V. Hesselbrock, T. K. Li, J. Nurnberger, B. Porjesz, J. Rice, M. Schuckit, H. Begleiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research in childhood psychiatry requires that diagnostic assessments of psychopathology in children involve not only an interview with the child, but information from a collateral informant, usually the mother. Thirty years of research has shown that children and adolescents from approximately 6 to 18 demonstrate very poor agreement with their parents on diagnoses as well as individual diagnostic symptoms. In genetic research where information at both the diagnostic and symptom level are critical this disconnect is particularly troublesome. The purpose of this study is to examine parent- child agreement about psychosocial information, which is also usually gathered from both youth and parent. Because the understanding of gene-environment interaction is important in genetic research, reliable measures of psychosocial features of the child's environment are required. This study examines agreement in 1,500 mother-child pairs from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA). The similarities and differences in the way parents and youth report the environment is described. We also determine whether parental or child psychopathology affects the kind of information that is provided by these respondents. Preliminary analyses of these data indicate that objective information is more reliably reported than subjective items. Some environmental variables are almost entirely reported by either the parent or the child, recommending both sources of information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-511
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000


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