Discrepancies in perceptions of maternal aggression: Implications for children of methadone-maintained mothers

Jessica L. Borelli, Suniya S. Luthar, Nancy E. Suchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite a long history of documenting discrepancies in parent and child reports of parental care and child psychopathology, it has only been in recent years that researchers have begun to consider these discrepancies as meaningful indicators of parent-child relationship quality and as predictors of long-term child adjustment. Discrepancies in perceptions of parenting may be particularly important for the children of mothers with a history of substance abuse who may be less aware of the impact of their behavior on their child and of their child's internalizing symptoms. This study examined associations between (a) mother-child discrepancies in reports of maternal aggression, and (b) mother and child reports of child internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Data collected from 99 mother-child dyads (with children 4-16 years of age) during the baseline phase of a randomized clinical trial testing a parenting intervention were used in this study. Measures included parent and child versions of the Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire and the Behavioral Assessment Scale for Children. Findings indicated that as children viewed their mothers as increasingly more aggressive than mothers viewed themselves, children reported more internalizing and externalizing symptoms but mothers only reported more child externalizing symptoms. Mother-child discrepancies in reports of parenting behavior have potentially meaningful implications for child emotional and behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Aggression
  • Children
  • Connecticut
  • Depression
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Interrater discrepancies
  • Mothers
  • Parent groups
  • Parent-child relations
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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