Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 906–916 | Cite as

Mental Health Cross-Informant Agreement for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Adolescents

  • Sarah M. Sinclair
  • Fred SchmidtEmail author
  • Kristy R. Kowatch
  • Christopher J. Mushquash
Original Paper



Cross-informant agreement between parent–youth dyads has been the focus of extensive research, but youth from diverse cultures have received less attention. Cross-information agreement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous parent–youth dyads were compared.


A total of 152 parent–youth dyads, consisting of 29.6% Indigenous and 70.4% non-Indigenous, were contrasted on level of agreement using the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report forms of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment.


The overall level of agreement for the full sample (r = .41) was comparable to the extent literature. As predicted, externalizing difficulties were rated with significantly higher levels of agreement than internalizing difficulties (externalizing r = .51; internalizing r = .32). While age did not significantly moderate the levels of agreement, gender did show an effect with female youth reporting higher levels of problems than males. The most notable finding was the cultural effect on levels of agreement. The rate of cross-informant agreement for the Indigenous parent–youth dyads was significantly higher than the low to moderate agreement found for non-Indigenous pairs. Moreover, the level of cross-informant agreement between the externalizing and internalizing problem scales was similar for the Indigenous dyads (r = .59; r = .62, respectively), but was significantly different for the non-Indigenous dyads (r = .50; r = .19, respectively).


This study highlights possible cultural differences in cross-informant agreement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth and their parents


Indigenous Cross-informant Adolescent 



The researchers would like to thank Bruce Weaver from Lakehead University for his invaluable knowledge and expertise that helped to advance the statistical analyses of this project.

Author Contributions

S.M.S. completed some of the analyses and wrote the majority of the manuscript. F.S. led the study, collected the data, and helped write and edit the manuscript. K.R.K. led the data analyses and helped write and edit the manuscript. C.J.M. provided input regarding interpretation of the Indigenous results and helped write and edit the manuscript


C.J.M.’s participation in this project was partly supported by the Canada Research Chair’s Program.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.Children’s Centre Thunder Bay & Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  3. 3.Lakehead University and Northern Ontario School of MedicineThunder BayCanada

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