Informant Discrepancies: Understanding Differences in Parent and Teacher Ratings of Children's Executive Functions and Social Skills

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Researchers and practitioners in the field of psychology frequently use parent and teacher rating scales in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of young children. However, research has shown that agreement between parents and teachers on rating scales is low to moderate. The present study examined this phenomenon, termed "informant discrepancy", for the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF) and the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS). Parents and teachers completed these scales for the same sample of 73 Kindergarten children. Results indicated that parent-teacher agreement was low at the scale and item levels, within-informant correlations were higher than between-informant correlations, mean differences in parent and teacher ratings may be explained by differences in the home and school contexts, and informants identified different children as having significant problems with executive functions and social skills. Implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed.