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Accuracy of Proxy Reports of Parental Status Characteristics

E. Dianne Looker
Sociology of Education
Vol. 62, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 257-276
DOI: 10.2307/2112830
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112830
Page Count: 20
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Accuracy of Proxy Reports of Parental Status Characteristics
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Abstract

This article addresses the accuracy of proxy reports of parental status characteristics by examining findings from over 30 studies. The analysis focuses on the influence of the child-respondent's age, race, and gender and the parents' education or occupation on the accuracy of reporting. In addition to providing a comprehensive summary of this research literature, the article tests four hypotheses: (1) there will be a curvilinear relationship between the age of the child-informant and the accuracy of the proxy information, (2) blacks will be less accurate reporters than will whites, (3) there will be few gender differences in the accuracy of reports, and (4) parental education will be less accurately reported than will father's occupation. In general, it seems that proxy reports are most accurate if the respondents are high school seniors living at home and reporting on their parents' current status characteristics.

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