Psychological assessment of psychiatric patients frequently relies on self-report, yet descriptions from patients often are regarded as suspect. Investigation of agreement between reports from patients versus knowledgeable informants is critical to assessing the validity of self-ratings. Self- and informant reports of temperament, personality traits, and interpersonal problems were collected from an adult, nonpsychotic psychiatric sample (N = 90). The majority of patients had depressive diagnoses (62%), were female (81%), and were Caucasian (98%). Few mean-level differences between self- and informant reports were found. Self-informant agreement correlations were comparable in magnitude and variability to findings from nonclinical samples. Results suggest that the overall effect of psychopathology on self-ratings of personality traits, temperament, and interpersonal problems was minimal in the authors' patient sample. This conclusion runs counter to the intuitively appealing notion that psychopathology has a detrimental effect on self-awareness.
R. Ready, L. Clark