247540 Best predictor of problem behaviors in children: Is it the parent or the child?

Monday, October 31, 2011

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 is as high as 80% (Mrug, et al., 2008). During pediatric visits, parents are frequently relied upon to report their child's social risk exposure and behavior problems. This study examined the sensitivity and specificity of child's self-reports and parent's reports of child's violence exposure to determine the best predictor of behavior problems. Participants included 409, primarily African American (86%) children, mean age 9.6 years (+ 1.1). 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. A dichotomous behavior problem variable (0 = parent and child reported no clinically significant behaviors in child, 1 = parent and/or child reported significant behaviors) was created. For all violence exposure settings studied (community, family, peer), the child's reports of violence exposure were more sensitive in identifying clinically significant internalizing, externalizing, and total behaviors compared to the parent's reports (67-96%). For all three settings, the parent's reports of child's exposure to violence resulted in greater specificity in internalizing, externalizing, and total behaviors than the child's reports (61-91%). Given the child's report of violence exposure was more sensitive in identifying behavior problems, eliciting young children's reports of violence exposure as well as the parents' reports of child violence exposure is optimal.

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: Determine the optimal method for assessing child internalizing symptoms. Determine the optimal method for assessing child externalizing symptoms. Determine the optimal method for assessing child total behavior problems.

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.