All Anxiety is not Created Equal: Correlates of Parent/Youth Agreement Vary Across Subtypes of Anxiety

Emily M. Becker, Amanda Jensen-Doss, Philip C. Kendall, Boris Birmaher, Golda S. Ginsburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Research has examined patterns and correlates of parent/youth informant discrepancies in the reporting of youth anxiety. However, little work has examined whether it is better to conceptualize patterns and correlates of informant disagreement across anxiety broadly, or more useful to consider disagreement on specific symptom clusters. Using data from the Child Adolescent/Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS; N = 488; Walkup et al. The New England Journal of Medicine, 359(26), 2753-2766. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0804633, 2008), the current study applied the most recent recommended analytic strategies to study informant discrepancies and examined differences in the magnitude and patterns of disagreement for: (a) broadband anxiety symptoms, versus (b) symptoms of specific anxiety diagnoses (or anxiety subtypes; e.g., separation, social anxiety). Correlates of informant discrepancies were also examined. Results indicated that there was variability in agreement across anxiety subtypes, with parent/youth agreement higher on separation anxiety and school refusal symptoms relative to other domains. Parental psychopathology was associated with disagreement on broadband anxiety symptoms, such that parental psychopathology was highest when parents reported higher symptoms than their children; however, this finding was largely driven by a relationship between parental psychopathology and disagreement on separation anxiety symptoms. Age was associated with disagreement on total and separation anxiety symptoms. Gender was not associated with disagreement. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 30 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Informant agreement
  • Youth assessment
  • Youth psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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