239310 Exposure to violence and child behavior: Parent vs. child reports

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:10 AM

Shayla Hart, MS , Psychology, Howard University, Washington, DC
Harolyn Belcher, MD , Kennedy Krieger Family Center/Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics, Kennedy Krieger Insitute, Baltimore, MD
Michele Cooley, PhD , Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Young children have significant rates of exposure to violence. In urban settings, the rate of violence exposure is reported as high as 80% (Mrug, et al., 2008). During pediatric visits, parents are frequently relied upon for history of their child's social risk exposure and behavior problems. This study examined 1) the correlations between parents' reports of their child's violence exposure and problem behaviors and child's self report and 2) the sensitivity and specificity of the parent's reports of child's report of behavior problems. The study participants included 409, primarily African American (86%), 3rd-5th graders, mean age 9.6 years (+ 1.1) from an urban setting. The Children's Report of Exposure to Violence (CREV; Cooley, Turner and Beidel, 1995), Multicultural Events Schedule for Adolescents (MESA; Gonzales, et al., 1995), Youth Self Report (YSR; Achenbach & Dumenci, 2001), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991a) were used to identify violence and interpersonal stress exposure and behavior problems. There were no statistically significant correlations between parent's report of child's violence exposure and child's self report of violence exposure. Correlations between parent's report of child behavior problems and child self-report of behaviors were also not statistically significant. Using parent reports of their children's exposure to violence to predict clinically significant internalizing, externalizing, and total behaviors yielded poor sensitivity (14-32%) and moderate to good specificity (74-91%) when children's reports were used as a reference. Relying solely on parent reports in elementary school-aged children may result in under-identification of clinically significant behavior problems.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
After attending this presentation, the professional will be able to: 1. Compare parents’ reports of their child’s violence exposure and children’s self reports of violence exposure. 2. Compare parents’ reports of their child’s violence exposure and children’s self reports of problem behaviors. 3. Describe the optimal method for assessing child violence exposure. 4. Describe the optimal method for assessing child problem behaviors.

Keywords: Violence, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author because I analyzed the data and produced the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.