alexa Psychosocial assessment of children with short stature: a preliminary report.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health

Author(s): Skuse D, Gilmour J, Tian CS, Hindmarsh P

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Abstract Previous studies that have examined the psychosocial adjustment of children with short stature have often been flawed, for two main reasons: first, a lack of sample homogeneity and, secondly, the measures of adjustment used have been limited in terms of their sensitivity. This paper examines psychological functioning in the following four broad areas: cognition, social behaviour, emotional adjustment and self-concept. A sample of children referred to growth clinics (mean height below -2 SDS) and a comparison group, recruited from the referred childrens' classes at school, were assessed. Children were prepubertal (age range, 6-11 years) and had no organic cause for their short stature. Parent, teacher and peer reports were used in the assessment, which included sociometric measures in the classroom. The children with short stature described themselves as equally well supported as the comparison children in terms of social support by parents, teachers, peers and friends. Peers reported the short children to be well accepted within their class. Compared with control children, there was a trend for short children to be described by their peers as socially better adjusted than average. Teacher and parental accounts revealed significant group differences in terms of reported behaviour, with poorer attention and more thought problems among the children with short stature. Further analysis suggested, however, that their slightly lower IQ than children of normal height (95.8 +/- 18.7 (mean +/- SD) compared with 105 +/- 15.4) accounted for a greater proportion of the variance in these findings than short stature per se. There is little evidence to indicate that short prepubertal children are psychosocially maladjusted.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Acta Paediatr Suppl and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health

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