Mother-teacher congruence in assessing child's behavior problems over time(2015)

김민영, 이진, 김영아, 오경자 (2015, July). Mother-teacher congruence in assessing child's behavior problems over time. Poster presented at International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, Portland, USA.

A child undergoes rapid changes in physical, psychological, and cognitive development from infancy through adolescence. Therefore, it is not only critical to identify the types and the levels of child’s behavior problems but also crucial to observe developmental changes over time for effective early intervention and for integrative perspective of developmental psychopathology.
Parents or teachers are the main sources for assessing child’s behavior problems. However, previous studies have been reported quite a big discrepancy between parents and teachers (e.g., Achenbach, McConaughy, & Howell, 1987). These results do not mean that one or both informants are unreliable, but every informant has his/her own internal criteria and some informant could be more sensitive for specific behavior of interest (Tett & Guterman, 2000). Therefore, we need to combine multiple informants’ reports to identify and to help children who suffer from behavioral problems.
The primary aim of this study is to track changes in behavioral problems of Korean children from infancy to adolescence and to investigate mother-teacher congruence in perceptions of child’s behavior problems for different age groups.

The finding that Korean child’s behavior problems decreased with age, especially during preschool-age years, might be fairly reliable since similar patterns were detected in both mother and teacher reports.
Relatively smaller discrepancies between mother and teacher reports were found in school-aged children than in preschoolers. However, the gap widened again for Internalizing problems in adolescent girls (ages 11-18). Therefore, scores should be interpreted cautiously, considering child’s age, gender, and informant’s factors. In general, mothers seemed to perceive more problems than teachers especially during preschool-age years. It might suggest that manifestation of behavioral problems tends to be more relevant and observable to mothers than to teachers. Longitudinal studies are needed to figure out whether these results reflect actual changes and/or stability in problems according to age, cohort effects, or changes in informant’s perception depending on child's developmental stage.
One-time assessment or single informant’s report is not sufficient for comprehensive evaluations of child’s behavior problems. The present study highlights the value of tracking developmental changes and multi-informant perspectives in interpretation of child’s behavior problems.

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