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J Pediatr Psychol. 2003 Jan-Feb;28(1):17-28.

A controlled longitudinal study of the social functioning of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039.



To complete an assessment of social functioning of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and nonchronically ill controls who had been evaluated 2 years earlier (Noll et al., 2000) and to examine the impact of disease severity or disease activity over time on the social functioning of children with JRA.


Peer-, teacher-, and self-reports of social functioning were obtained from 57 children with JRA and 63 controls. Social reputation and social acceptance were examined cross-sectionally and longitudinally.


Cross-sectional analyses indicated no significant differences between children with JRA and controls on measures of social functioning. For children with more severe disease, like ratings declined over the 2-year period relative to children with mild disease. Children with active disease were chosen fewer times over the 2-year period as a best friend than children in remission.


Because children with severe or active JRA may be at risk for difficulties with social acceptance over time, they are appropriate targets for interventions that ameliorate or prevent these difficulties.

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