APH 2003, 61, 141-149:

Measurement of parental occupation: Agreement between parents and their children.

C. Vereecken, A. Vandegehuchte

Keywords: Children, social class, validity

A validation study has been carried out to examine the extent to which children aged 11-12 years are valid reporters of their parents' occupational activity.

Two hundred and sixteen pupils (92% response) of three schools together with 200 parents (85% response) completed a questionnaire on parental occupational activity.

Criterion validity was assessed by measuring conformity between pupils' and parents' report. Kappa values were good, conformity percentages were acceptable as most misclassifications were in the adjacent categories. Percentage of disagreement was acceptable and no response bias on socio-economic position of children with unclassifiable answers was found.

Our findings suggest that children aged 11-12 years are able to describe their parents' occupational activity in sufficient detail in a survey setting to be useful for research on socio-economic differences.