Parent–Youth Discrepancies in Ratings of Youth Victimization: Associations With Psychological Adjustment


  • Support for this project comes from the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH18834) and Maternal and Child Health Bureau, LEAH grant (5T71MC08054). The author would like to thank Wendy Kliewer and Andres De Los Reyes for their feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript and Catherine Bradshaw for consultation on statistical analyses. The author would also like to thank the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods for providing access to the data.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kimberly Goodman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-Mental Health, 624 N. Broadway St., Suite 806, Baltimore, MD 21205. Electronic mail may be sent to


This study extends research examining the implications of parent–youth informant discrepancies on youth victimization. Latent class analysis (LCA) identified dyads distinguished by patterns of parent and youth report of victimization. Analyses examined how latent classes were related to adjustment (i.e., anxiety/depression, aggression, and delinquency) concurrently and at follow-up assessment (~2.5 years) in a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse sample. Participants were 485 youths (58.1% male; M age = 12.83 years, SD = 1.60) and their primary caregivers from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. This study compared three classes of youths: (a) Parent > Youth (24.0%), (b) Youth > Parent (21.5%), and (c) Relative Agreement (54.5%). Findings did not support the hypothesis that groups reflecting parental underreporting of youth victimization experiences would show poor adjustment relative to all other classes longitudinally. Surprisingly, youths who self-reported lower levels of victimization than parents reported were at risk for maladjustment over time. This type of discrepant dyad may deserve more careful attention than previously considered in the literature.