Concordance of Parent- and Child-Reported Physical Abuse Following Child Protective Services Investigation

Child Maltreat. 2017 Feb;22(1):24-33. doi: 10.1177/1077559516673156. Epub 2016 Oct 14.


Knowledge about the concordance of parent- and child-reported child physical abuse is scarce, leaving researchers and practitioners with little guidance on the implications of selecting either informant. Drawing from a 2008-2009 sample of 11- to 17-year-olds ( N = 636) from Wave 1 of the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, this study first examined parent-child concordance in physical abuse reporting (Parent-Child Conflict Tactic Scale). Second, it applied multivariate regression analysis to relate parent-child agreement in physical abuse to parent-reported (Child Behavior Checklist) and child-reported (Youth Self Report) child behavioral problems. Results indicate low parent-child concordance of physical abuse (κ = .145). Coreporting of physical abuse was related to clinical-level parent-reported externalizing problems ([Formula: see text] = 64.57), whereas child-only reports of physical abuse were the only agreement category related to child-reported internalizing problems ( B = 4.17, p < .001). Attribution bias theory may further understanding of reporting concordance and its implications.

Keywords: behavior problems; child welfare; concordance; interrater discrepancies; physical abuse; self-report measures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Child Protective Services*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Self Report
  • United States
  • Violence