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Congruence of Parents’ and Children’s Perceptions of Parenting: A Meta-Analysis

Authors
  • Korelitz, Katherine E.1
  • Garber, Judy1
  • 1 Vanderbilt University, Department of Psychology and Human Development, 0552 Peabody, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN, 37203-5721, USA , Nashville (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 05, 2016
Volume
45
Issue
10
Pages
1973–1995
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10964-016-0524-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Parents and children often report different perspectives about parents’ behaviors. Such lack of congruence is important because it may reflect problems in their relationship and may be associated with children’s maladjustment. We conducted a systematic, quantitative review of parent–child agreement and discrepancy about parenting behaviors, and potential moderators (e.g., children’s age, race, clinical status, family intactness) of the extent of mother–child and father–child congruence. The meta-analyses included 85 studies with 476 effect sizes of the degree of agreement and discrepancy in parent–child reports of three parenting behaviors: Acceptance, Psychological Control, and Behavioral Control assessed with one of the most widely-used measures of parenting—the Children’s Report of Parental Behavior Inventory. Mother–child and father–child dyads exhibited significant but modest levels of agreement (r) across parenting constructs. The amount and direction of discrepancy (Hedges’ g) varied by the parenting construct and parents’ sex. Overall, parents’ reports were more favorable than their children’s report about the parents’ behaviors. Significant associations were found between the magnitude of agreement/discrepancy and children’s age, race, clinical status, and family intactness. Moderators differed by parenting construct, parents’ sex, and type of effect size. Implications of these findings for researchers and clinicians are discussed and highlight the need for further research about the meaning of parent–child incongruence, its relation to children’s psychopathology, and interventions for reducing it.

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