Parent-adolescent agreement on disruptive behavior symptoms: A multitrait-multimethod model

Cynthia M. Hartung, Denis M. McCarthy, Richard Milich, Catherine A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study examined parent-adolescent agreement on reports of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and conduct disorder in 203 adolescents (94 girls, 109 boys) ranging in age from 13 to 18 years (M = 15.21, SD = 1.37). Results of confirmatory factor analyses provided additional evidence of construct validity for these traits in adolescents. Internal consistency was examined for parent reports and adolescent self-reports. In addition, correlational analyses were used in a multitrait-multimethod format (MTMM; D. T. Campbell & D. W. Fiske, 1959) to examine convergent and discriminant validity. Results showed that parents provided more consistent and valid reports of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, whereas adolescents provided more consistent and valid reports of conduct disorder. In addition, interviews produced higher levels of convergence than rating scales. These findings are discussed in terms of implications for assessment of disruptive behavior disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the University of Kentucky, Department of Psychiatry, to Drs. Martin and Milich; the Commonwealth Division of Mental Health Research Development Committee, the State Research Initiative, Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources and a dissertation grant from NIMH to Dr. Hartung. We are grateful to Rick Hoyle, Don Lynam, Greg Smith, and James Grice for reviewing earlier versions of this manuscript and providing helpful comments. In addition, we thank the following individuals for their contributions to this project: Heather Cassidy, John Ireland, Justin Kyriannis, Caryn Letcher, Kelly McGraw, Rebecca Perkins, Shannon Sharp, Heather Turpin, and John Yozwiak.


  • Adolescents
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct disorder (CD)
  • Disruptive behavior disorders
  • Parent-adolescent agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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