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Contribution of Parent Report to Voice DISC-IV Diagnosis Among Incarcerated Youths

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 43 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2004 Pages: 868-877
Date Published
July 2004
10 pages
This study used a series of different algorithms to examine the contribution of a parent report to a youth report in defining psychiatric "caseness" for a sample of incarcerated youths.
The study varied the definition of a case by considering various combinations of reporters at the diagnostic level (i.e, youth only, parent only, youth and parent, and youth or parent) as well as the definition of disorder (i.e., criteria only, criteria plus impairment, and at least subthreshold). Data were available for 569 youths, with 94 from facilities in Illinois, 204 in New Jersey, and 271 in South Carolina. Of 403 parents of youths who completed the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version 4 for whom researchers were provided a telephone number, data were ultimately available for 122, yielding participation rates of 34 percent in Illinois, 26 percent in New Jersey, 32 percent in South Carolina, and 30 percent overall. The parent interviews were done by phone. There were four major findings. First, the youths reported higher rates of psychiatric disorder than parents, with rates decreasing when agreement between parents "and" youths was required and increasing when parent "or" youth report was required. Second, parents and youths showed significant agreement on reports of lifetime suicide attempt. Third, parents were more likely than youths to report that disorders were impairing. Fourth, only 30 percent of parents added substantial new information to the youth report. The study concluded that the parent report potentially could add new information for youths who do not admit any impairment or who deny having any disorder. The value of including a parent report for youths in justice and other under-resourced settings, however, should be balanced with the potentially expensive challenges of obtaining information from parents. 3 tables, 2 figures, and 39 references

Date Published: July 1, 2004