Relationships between Parents' Self-Reported Symptoms and their Perceptions of their Children's Symptoms: Implications for Using Parent-Child Rating Scales,
DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER FORT GORDON GA
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The development and use of parent-child rating scales as a way to evaluate children is becoming very popular. Unfortunately, its unclear as to what the scales measure e.g., Do the scales describe the child and or reflect the parent who completes the scale. The present study examines the relationship between parent and child symptoms. The sample consists of 108 intact families who live in military housing at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The service members are on active duty in the Army and are either officers or senior enlisted personnel. The parents symptoms, measured by using 7 of the 9 scales on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist HSCL were correlated with parents and teachers ratings of their children by using the parent and teacher forms of the Child Behavior Checklist CBCL. The teachers rating of the child ws used as an index of accuracy against which parent ratings of the child were compared. The results suggest that as parents become more symptomatic, their perception of their childrens symptoms tend to change. The results also suggest the parents perception of their childs symptoms varies as a function of the sex of the child. The results aer discussed in terms of the implications of building theories, using child-rating scales, and doing further research.