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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Aug;62(4):856-6.

Psychological adjustment of children with sickle cell disease: stability and change over a 10-month period.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.


Rates of poor psychological adjustment of children with sickle cell disease remained relatively constant over initial and follow-up assessment points. However, there was relatively little stability in the classification of the adjustment of individuals, low congruence in specific behavior problem patterns and diagnoses in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1980), and less stability in child adjustment by child report than by mother report. With initial levels of adjustment controlled, children's strategies for coping with pain accounted for a significant increment in child-reported symptoms (19%) and mother-reported internalizing behavior problems (8%) at follow-up beyond the contribution of illness and demographic parameters and follow-up interval. The findings suggest that children's coping strategies are a salient intervention target for enhancing adjustment.

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