Parent–youth informant disagreement: Implications for youth anxiety treatment

Emily M. Becker-Haimes, Amanda Jensen-Doss, Boris Birmaher, Philip C. Kendall, Golda S. Ginsburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Greater parent–youth disagreement on youth symptomatology is associated with a host of factors (e.g., parental psychopathology, family functioning) that might impede treatment. Parent–youth disagreement may represent an indicator of treatment prognosis. Using data from the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study, this study used polynomial regression and longitudinal growth modeling to examine whether parent–youth agreement prior to and throughout treatment predicted treatment outcomes (anxiety severity, youth functioning, responder status, and diagnostic remission, rated by an independent evaluator). When parents reported more symptoms than youth prior to treatment, youth were less likely to be diagnosis-free post-treatment; this was only true if the youth received cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) alone, not if youth received medication, combination, or placebo treatment. Increasing concordance between parents and youth over the course of treatment was associated with better treatment outcomes across all outcome measures (ps <.001). How parents and youth “co-report” appears to be an indicator of CBT outcome. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-56
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Informant discrepancies
  • outcome monitoring
  • treatment
  • youth anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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