Mother-child disagreement in reports of child anxiety: effects of child age and maternal anxiety.
ABSTRACT The present study examined effects of maternal anxiety, child age, and their interaction on mother-child anxiety reporting disagreement while taking into account the direction of each informant's report relative to the other. Participants were 41 dyads of mothers and clinically anxious children aged 7-13. A hierarchical regression revealed a significant interaction between maternal anxiety and child age (β = .30, p < .05). A graph of this interaction indicated that when maternal anxiety is high and the child is older, maternal report of anxiety is relatively higher, and when maternal anxiety is high and the child is younger, child report of anxiety is relatively higher. When maternal anxiety is low, the reporting discrepancy is relatively stable across age. Results may help explain previous mixed findings regarding effects of age and maternal anxiety on reporting discrepancies. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.