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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1994 Nov;31(6):429-36.

Effects of visible and invisible orofacial defects on self-perception and adjustment across developmental eras and gender.

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  • 1Department of General and Hospital Dentistry, University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Dental School, Newark 07103-2400.


Self-ratings of satisfaction with appearance and accomplishment of psychosocial tasks were examined by age and gender among school aged children with visible defects (cleft lip and/or palate, n = 272), or invisible defects (cleft palate only, n = 159), and dental patients (n = 128) without clefts. Using weighted least squares ANOVA and logistic regressions, the results revealed that subjects with visible defects expressed greater dissatisfaction with their appearance than those subjects with invisible defects (p < .001). Subjects with invisible defects consistently expressed lower problem solving ability than subjects with visible defects (p < .001) and dental patients with no defects (p < .05). Both groups with clefts expressed less social independence (p < .001); and subjects with clefts reported having more friends than other children (p < .01). Implications for clinicians and further research are discussed.

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