Discordance in Parents' and Adolescents' Reports of Parenting: A Meta-Analysis and Qualitative Review

Yang Hou, Aprile D. Benner, Su Yeong Kim, Shanting Chen, Shiri Spitz, Yi Shi, Tasha Beretvas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Parents and adolescents often provide discordant reports on parenting. Prior studies are inconsistent regarding the extent, predictors, and consequences of such discordance. The current study aimed to robustly estimate the extent, potential moderators, and consequences of discordance between parent- and adolescent-reported parenting by (a) meta-analyzing a large number of studies involving both parent- and adolescent-reported parenting (n = 313) and (b) qualitatively summarizing the main methods and findings in studies examining how parent-adolescent discordance in reports of parenting relates to adolescent outcomes (n = 36). The meta-analysis demonstrated a small yet statistically significant correlation between parent- and adolescent-reported parenting (r = .276; 95% confidence interval [CI: .262, .290]); parents perceived parenting more positively than did adolescents, with a small but statistically significant mean-level difference (g = .242; 95% CI [.188, .296]). The levels of parent-adolescent discordance were higher for younger (vs. older) and male (vs. female) adolescents; for nonclinical parents (vs. parents with internalizing symptoms); in more individualistic societies such as the United States; and in ethnic minority (vs. White), low (vs. high) socioeconomic status, and nonintact (vs. intact) families among U.S. samples. The qualitative review highlighted current methodological approaches, main findings, and limitations and strengths of each approach. Together, the two components of the current study have important implications for research and clinical practice, including areas of inquiry for future studies and how researchers and clinicians should handle informant discordance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Psychologist
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent adjustment
  • Informant discrepancy
  • Parent
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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