"It Depends on What You Mean by 'Disagree'": Differences between Parent and Child Perceptions of Parent-Child Conflict

Andres De Los Reyes, Sarah A. Thomas, Anna J. Swan, Katherine B. Ehrlich, Elizabeth K. Reynolds, Liza Suarez, Lea R. Dougherty, Laura MacPherson, Shairy C. Pabón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We examined a new structured interview of parent-child conflict that assesses parent and child perceptions of behavioral conflict about daily life topics (e.g., doing chores, homework), and whether discrepancies exist on beliefs about these topics. In a sample of 100 parents and children ages 10 to 17 years (M=013.5 years, 52 males, 57 % African-American), informants could reliably distinguish between perceived behavioral conflicts and perceived discrepant beliefs about topics. These scores were also significantly related to questionnaire reports of parent-child conflict. Parent and child questionnaire reports did not significantly differ, yet on the structured interview, parents reported significantly greater levels of perceived conflict and discrepant beliefs relative to child reports. Additionally, structured interview reports of conflict demonstrated incremental validity by relating to child self-reports of delinquent behaviors, when accounting for questionnaire conflict reports. The findings have implications for increasing understanding of the links between parent-child conflict and psychosocial outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Informant disagreement
  • Informant discrepancies
  • Multiple informants
  • Parent-child conflict
  • Structured interview
  • To(may)to-To(mah)to interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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