Get access

Interparental Agreement on Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Behavior Problems: A Meta-analysis


Address correspondence to Vicky Phares, Ph.D., University of South Florida, Department of Psychology, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, BEH 339, Tampa, FL 33620. Electronic mail may be sent to


Previous studies have addressed the degree of correspondence between interparental reports of children's behavior problems, but have not examined the discrepancies in these reports. A meta-analysis containing 60 studies and 126 independent effect sizes was conducted. Results suggest that maternal and paternal ratings exhibit moderate correspondence in ratings of internalizing behavior problems in children and large correspondence in ratings of externalizing and total behavior problems in children. In terms of discrepancy of reports, parents reported similar levels of all types of problems. Age, gender, and socioeconomic status were found to moderate correspondence between mothers’ and fathers’ ratings but did not moderate discrepancies in mothers’ and fathers’ ratings.