Data collected from self-report measures can be problematic as participants may misunderstand questions, misremember information, or misrepresent themselves when answering questions. Bias in self-report data is particularly concerning for parents of children with DD, as these measures are often used as part of diagnostic decisions and service allocations. Parents of children with DD typically experience higher levels of stress than parents of typically developing children. Stress has been shown to decrease cognitive functioning and bias parent perceptions, making it more likely that parents will inaccurately respond to self-report measures inquiring about their own parenting behaviors and their child’s maladaptive behaviors. Data from the MAPS project were used to determine if parents who report higher stress are less accurate reporters on their own parenting behaviors and their child’s maladaptive behaviors. The parents and children in this project primarily identified as Hispanic (49.2% and 47.6%, respectively). Most of the children were male (69.4%) and 53.2% of our participants had a yearly household income of less than $50,000. Parents completed measures of stress, parenting, and child behaviors, and then completed recorded interaction tasks which were coded for child and parent behaviors. Stress was used as a predictor of the discrepancy between the observational codes and parent reports of these behaviors. It was hypothesized that parents high in stress will be less accurate reporters than parents low in stress. Contrary to our predictions, stress did not significantly predict accuracy of parent reports of child behavior or parenting behavior (p > .05). Possible explanations include the sample’s large variation in scores on the independent variable, poor reliability of parent report measures, and the large number of analyses run, which could have affected power. Another explanation could be that, as parents of children with DD must regularly report on their children’s behavior, they have become more accurate, as research suggests that repeated reporting on the same measure increases reporter accuracy. Better understanding of reporter bias can allow providers to better utilize parent report data when making decisions around diagnoses and referrals, as well as potentially informing interventions or strategies to gather more accurate data from parents.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Cameron Neece

Second Advisor

David Vermeersch

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Parenting; Psychological Stress; Self-report inventories--Evaluation; Stress


Doctoral Project

Page Count

x, 37 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives