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European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 371–377

First Online: 13 October 2009Received: 07 May 2008Accepted: 09 September 2009


The role of acquaintanceship with the child on reports of child behaviour by different informants was examined within the framework of a general theory of personality judgment. Mothers of referred children and group-care workers rated videotaped behaviour samples of a well known and an unknown child in the clinic. Independent observers also rated the videotapes. In line with the acquaintanceship hypothesis, mothers were found to perceive more behaviour problems than independent observers when rating well known children but not unknown children. Contrary to the acquaintanceship hypothesis, however, the group-care workers in our study reported more behaviour problems than the other informants regardless of their acquaintance with the children. The clinical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.

KeywordsInformant bias Child assessment Acquaintanceship effect  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Gert Kroes - Jan W. Veerman - Eric E. J. De Bruyn


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