Journal of Clinical Pediatrics and Neonatal Care

Interparental Agreement on Ratings of Infants’ Social-Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Competencies

Published on: 2017-11-23


Background: Clinically significant emotional and behavioral problems exist even among infants younger than 3 years old. These early problems are not transient but are sustained into school age. Accordingly, we examined interparental agreement on ratings of social-emotional and behavioral problems and competencies in 1- to 3-year-old children. Methods: We used the Japanese version of the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (J-ITSEA), which assesses social-emotional problem behaviors (externalizing, internalizing, and dysregulation) and areas of competence (e.g., compliance, attention, and empathy) in 1- to 3-year-old children. Of 110 eligible parents, five were excluded due to an excess of unanswered items in either parent’s ratings. Accordingly, data of 105 parents were analyzed (valid response rate: 95.45%). Results: Intraclass correlations (ICCs) between fathers’ and mothers’ scores on the J-ITSEA ranged from .51 to .60 for problem behaviors, and the ICC for areas of competence was .75. ICCs for problem behaviors were higher in boys than in girls, but this was not significant. Regarding discrepancies, fathers rated boys significantly higher on externalizing and dysregulation problems than mothers did (p r significantly higher on internalizing problems than fathers did ( < .01), with medium-to-large effect sizes ( p < .01). For areas of competence, mothers gave significantly = .48–.54). Mothers rated girls higher ratings than fathers did, regardless of the child’s gender (p < .05). Conclusions: The findings in this study demonstrate the importance of gathering information from multiple informants in assessing infants’ social-emotional behavioral problems and competencies.


Infant, Infant Behavior, Emotional and Behavioral Problems, Fathers, Interparental Agreement