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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Aug;71(4):782-96.

A multimethod, multi-informant, and multidimensional perspective on psychosocial adjustment in preadolescents with spina bifida.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois 60626, USA.


This study examined the psychosocial adjustment of preadolescents with spina bifida in relation to a comparison sample of able-bodied preadolescents (8- and 9-year-olds; n = 68 in each sample). The study also examined the potential clinical utility of a narrowband multimethod, multi-informant, and multidimensional perspective on the assessment of psychosocial functioning in children and adolescents with pediatric conditions. Findings revealed that children with spina bifida tended to be socially immature and passive, less likely to have social contacts outside of school, more dependent on adults for guidance, less competent scholastically, less physically active, less likely to make independent decisions, and more likely to exhibit attention and concentration difficulties. No group differences were found for externalizing symptoms, affective functioning, or global self-worth, suggesting resilience in these domains for the spina bifida sample. Findings also suggest that low socioeconomic status and the presence of a physical disability may be additive risk factors for certain psychosocial adjustment difficulties.

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