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Internalizing Symptoms and Personality Traits Color Parental Reports of Child Temperament


Journal of Personality

Published online on


Objective Depressed parents have negatively distorted views of the personalities and behaviors of their children. Our goal was to evaluate how other internalizing symptoms and personality traits relate to perceptions of child temperament using data from mothers and fathers as well as a novel statistical method for modeling multi‐informant data. Method We applied the trifactor model (Bauer et al., 2013) to data collected from the parents of 273 children (aged 3–5 years). Results Internalizing symptoms and personality traits were related to both mothers' and fathers' perceptions of their children. Effects varied somewhat across dimensions of child temperament. Conclusions These results support concerns that psychological characteristics influence parental perceptions of their children. This research also provides insights about psychological predictors of potential parental biases.