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Assessment of maternally reported life events in children and adolescents : a comparison of interview and checklist methods

Allen, Jennifer and Rapee, Ronald and Sandberg, Seija (2012) Assessment of maternally reported life events in children and adolescents : a comparison of interview and checklist methods. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 34 (2). 204–215. ISSN 0882-2689. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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This study compared the number and impact of maternally reported life events experienced by children assessed using interview and checklist approaches. Psychometric properties of a new checklist measure were also examined. Participants were 80 children aged 7 to 16 years recruited from the general community. Mothers completed an interview, the Psychosocial Assessment of Child Experiences (PACE; Sandberg et al. (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 34(6): 879–897, 1993)) and the Child and Adolescent Survey of Experiences (CASE), a checklist derived from PACE and featuring parent and child self-report versions. PACE and CASE assessed a similar number of negative life events, however CASE assessed more positive life events. The two measures showed fair to substantial agreement for the number and perceived impact of life events. Both PACE and CASE detected significant associations between negative, but not positive life events and child psychopathology. An evaluation of the psychometric properties of CASE revealed that mother-child agreement was good for the overall number of life events, with agreement ranging from poor to substantial for specific life events. CASE demonstrated good one-week retest reliability; however younger children were less reliable reporters of life events than adolescents. Findings are discussed in terms of the relative utility of the two assessment methods for research and clinical practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Study completed as part of the first author's PhD. Primary responsibility for study conceptualisation, analysis and write-up, as well as data collection. Documents the development and psychometric properties of a checklist measure of child and adolescent life events, including parent and child-report versions. The checklist was validated against a published investigator-based interview of life events. It has been translated into German and Danish and is being used by different research groups in Australia, Germany and Denmark. This measure was included in a recent review of epidemiological approaches to measuring childhood stress (Vanaelst et al., 2012).
Controlled Keywords: life events, stress, checklist, children, Health and wellbeing, Research methods
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 02:01
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:58
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