Adolescent reports of parental characteristics


Ridolfo, Heather; E; & Maitland, Aaron (2008). Adolescent reports of parental characteristics. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.


Socioeconomic status (SES) is considered to be a marker of physical health, and information regarding SES is frequently requested on national health surveys. However, attaining self reports of this information is not always easily done, and researchers often must rely on proxy reporting. Questionnaires designed to collect information on adolescent health may be especially problematic. Adolescent surveys sometimes rely on children’s reports of parental characteristics such as parents’ education and occupation levels. However, there is disagreement in the literature about whether children are able to provide accurate assessments of these characteristics. Using data from Add Health, a nationally representative sample of adolescents and their parents, we assess the accuracy of children’s proxy reports of mother’s education and use of public assistance. Results show that accuracy of children’s proxy reports is dependent upon child’s race, age, and gender, as well as the closeness of the mother child relationship.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2008 Add Health Users Conference


Ridolfo, Heather
Maitland, Aaron

Year Published



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center

City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID