Teacher-youth inter-informant agreement on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in a community sample of refugee and immigrant adolescents in Montreal
Keywords:Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), multiple informants, immigrant and refugee adolescents, teacher-child inter-informant agreement, gender differences.
Early detection and treatment of psychological problems amongst refugee and immigrant youth is crucial to improve their developmental outcomes and their social integration. Multiple informants approach is a standard practice in detecting psychological problems. Based on its extensive empirical use, this approach is recommended in order to avoid bias or misinterpretation during the assessment of the youth mental health needs. However, very few studies have investigated the inter-informant agreement between teachers and youth in a multiethnic context. The current study explores teacher-youth inter-informant agreement in a culturally heterogeneous sample of refugee and immigrant adolescents from three high schools in Montreal. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was administered to 113 recently arrived migrant adolescents (female, n = 55; male, n= 58) to assess their own emotional and behavioural symptoms. The SDQ was also administered to their teachers (n = 7) so that a comparison between self- and teacher reports could be made. Teacher-youth agreement was significant for the Emotional symptoms subscale, but this inter-informant agreement was significant for males only. These results underscore the need to raise school personnel awareness about potential undetected emotional problems in newly arrived refugee and immigrant female adolescents.
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