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Age Differences in the Reliability of the Psychiatric Interview of the Child

Craig Edelbrock, Anthony J. Costello, Mina K. Dulcan, Robert Kalas and Noelle Calabro Conover
Child Development
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Feb., 1985), pp. 265-275
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130193
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130193
Page Count: 11
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Age Differences in the Reliability of the Psychiatric Interview of the Child
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Abstract

The NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, a highly structured interview covering a broad range of clinically relevant symptoms and behaviors, was administered to 242 disturbed children and their parents. Parent and child were interviewed separately and were assessed twice at a median interval of 9 days. Intraclass correlations between symptom scores derived from the interviews indicated that parents were generally more reliable than children in reporting child symptoms. However, test-retest reliabilities showed an opposite age pattern for parent and child. The reliability of the child's report increased with age and was lower for children aged 6-9 than those aged 10-13 and 14-18. Conversely, the reliability of the parent's report decreased with the age of the child and was slightly higher for children aged 6-9 than those aged 10-13 and 14-18. These findings were interpreted in terms of children's cognitive development and age-related shifts in parents' perceptions and awareness of their children's behavior.

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