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J Pediatr Psychol. 1999 Apr;24(2):183-90.

Psychosocial changes associated with participation in a pediatric summer camp.

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University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg 39406-5025, USA.



To examine the relationship between a 1-week pediatric summer camping program and children's attitudes toward their physical disabilities and/or medical conditions and levels of trait anxiety.


The Child Attitude Toward Illness Scale (CATIS; Austin & Huberty, 1993) and the trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC; Spielberger, 1973) were given to 90 children as pretests to determine baseline attitudes toward their illnesses and their overall levels of trait anxiety. At the end of the 1-week camp sessions, the CATIS and STAIC A-Trait Form were completed once more as posttest measures.


Pretest and posttest scores for all camp groups were compared to assess changes in the children's attitudes toward their illnesses and levels of trait anxiety. Overall, participants had better attitudes toward their illnesses and lower levels of trait anxiety at the end of camp.


Participation in a pediatric summer camp was related to changes in psychosocial functioning, with changes evident across diagnostic groups and gender. The consistency of the findings underscores the need for further investigation.

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