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Validity of Questionnaire Self-Report of Psychopathology and Parent-Child Relationship Quality in Juvenile Delinquents with Psychiatric Disorders

NCJ Number
Journal of Adolescence Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 761-771
R.E. E. Breuk; C.A.C. Clauser; G.J.J.M. Stams; N.W. Slot; T.A.H. Doreleijers
Date Published
October 2007
11 pages
Through a comparative analysis, this study focused on the validity of questionnaire self-report of psychopathology and parent-child relationship quality for juvenile delinquents with severe behavioral and psychiatric disorders.
The results provide support for the hypothesis that juvenile delinquents with psychiatric disorders underestimate psychopathology and poor relationships with their parents. The study found empirical support for the hypothesis that questionnaire self-report of psychopathology and parent-child relationship quality by means of questionnaires might not be appropriate for juvenile delinquents with psychiatric disorders. It is proposed the assessment methods be tailored to the type and context of problems, and the clinical risk status of the target group. Several studies have shown that children at high risk for antisocial behavior minimize symptoms of psychopathology on self-report questionnaires, and one study revealed that delinquents might deny poor relationships with parents. However, in those studied, underreporting of psychopathology and poor parent-child relationship quality by adolescents was not hypothesized. In other words, the underestimation of psychopathology and poor relationship quality has been a post-hoc finding, and is therefore in need of replication. It is expected that juvenile delinquents with psychiatric disorders will underreport psychopathology and underestimate poor relationships with their parents on standardized checklists. Participants of the study consisted of 33 juvenile delinquents from 13 to 20 years of age with psychiatric disorders. Tables, references