Parent and Self-Report Consistency in adolescents with and without DLD

Gough Kenyon, S. M., Palikara, O., & Lucas, R. M. (2021). Consistency of Parental and Self-Reported Adolescent Wellbeing: Evidence From Developmental Language Disorder. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 503.

Aim of the paper:

Recently, the interest in the wellbeing of adolescents with developmental language disorder (DLD) has increased. While the topic is relatively widely researched, the findings have been mixed, with self-report studies showing different results from parent report studies. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the consistency between parent and adolescent rating of wellbeing among adolescents with DLD, low language ability (LL), and typically developing (TD) peers. The factors affecting the consistency between parent and adolescent rating were also explored.

Key terms:

Low language ability (LL): presenting with impairments in language but not to the degree necessary to get diagnosed with DLD

Typically developing (TD) peers: individuals who are not diagnosed with DLD or have LL ability

What was found:

· The wellbeing of adolescents with DLD and LL were more similar to their TD peers when self-reported than parent-reported.

· Parent and adolescent reported wellbeing significantly differed across multiple dimensions of wellbeing in all three groups (DLD, LL, TD peers).

· The largest difference between the parent and adolescent report was shown in measures of psychological wellbeing, with scores being lower in parental reports than self-reports.

· Social competence predicted the consistency between parent and adolescent reported psychological wellbeing for adolescents with DLD and TD peers.

· Both cognitive reappraisal (i.e., the process of modifying the impact of an emotional experience so that it decreases emotional strain) and sociability predicted the consistency for adolescents with LL.

What does this mean?

The findings suggest that adolescent wellbeing in DLD or LL can significantly differ between parent and adolescent reports, despite using the same measure. While it is difficult to judge which report is more accurate or objective, the findings emphasise that both parent and adolescent perspectives should be considered in order to better understand the overall wellbeing of adolescents. As the lowest self-reported scores were autonomy and parental relations, the authors suggest that interventions aiming to increase the wellbeing of adolescents with DLD or LL should prioritise these areas.

Where can I read this paper?

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