Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Wendy Kliewer


Epidemiological research indicates that parents report lower levels of youths’ exposure to violence than youth self-report, and theory suggests that such discrepancies reflect parents’ lack of knowledge of youth victimization and impaired ability to help children cope with victimization. This study extends prior research examining the implications of parent-youth informant discrepancies on ratings of victimization. Latent class analysis (LCA) was employed to identify groups of dyads distinguished by patterns of parent and youth report of victimization, uncovering heterogeneity based on patterns of parent-youth ratings of victimization. Analyses examined how latent classes reflecting parent-youth agreement on victimization were related to adjustment (i.e., depression, aggression, and delinquency) concurrently and over time. Participants were youths ages 10-15 years and their mothers (N=1,339 dyads) from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Parent and youth reports of six victimization events were used as the observed indicators in latent class analysis. Youths and parents completed parallel measures of adjustment (anxiety/depression and delinquency subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self Report) concurrently and at follow-up assessment (~2.5 years). This study compared three classes of youths: (a) Low Victimization (77.0%), (b) Youth > Parent (13.5%), and (c) Parent > Youth (8.1%). Concurrently, the class in which youths reported more victimization than parents (Youth > Parent) demonstrated higher levels of youth-reported depression, delinquency, and aggression. Longitudinally, however, this was not the case. In fact, the Parent >Youth class was more likely to show increased maladjustment, relative to the Youth > Parent class. Specifically, these youths showed increases in both youth- and parent- reported delinquent behavior, as well as parent-report of youth anxious/depressed behavior. In the absence of a gold standard to determine which informant is over- or under- reporting victimization, a person-centered approach can offer a unique framework for integrating informant reports. Moreover, discrepant perspectives can offer useful information for understanding the effects of victimization, as well as implications for prevention and intervention.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

October 2009

Included in

Psychology Commons