Mental Health Problems of Displaced War-Affected Adolescents in Northern Uganda: Patterns of Agreement Between Self and Caregiver Assessment

Judith K. Bass, Christine Ayash, Theresa S. Betancourt, Emily E. Haroz, Helen Verdeli, Richard Neugebauer, Laura K. Murray, Paul A. Bolton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We evaluate caregiver and adolescent concordance on adolescent mental health severity in war-affected Northern Uganda. Data were collected from 628 caregiver-adolescent dyads in two internally displaced persons' camps. Internalizing and externalizing-type mental health problems were assessed using locally-developed scales. To evaluate concordance, mean caregiver and adolescent scores on each scale were compared using Pearson's correlation coefficients and within-pair-differences were compared by subtracting caregiver from adolescent responses and using t tests to assess whether these differed from 0. Mental heath problem type and youth/caregiver gender and age were investigated as potential indicators of group differences. Adolescents consistently rated their problems as more severe for internalizing problems and less severe for externalizing problems compared with caregivers. Mothers' reports exhibited better concordance for internalizing problems while fathers' and other caregivers' exhibited better concordance of externalizing problems. Results suggest researchers and program implementers need to be aware of respondent differences when planning studies and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1010
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2014



  • Adolescents
  • Africa
  • Caregivers
  • Cross-cultural assessment
  • Multiple informants
  • Refugee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this