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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2003 Jul;12(3):389-99, v.

Biopsychosocial issues and risk factors in the family when the child has a chronic illness.

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  • 1Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 230 South Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Between 10 and 20 million American children and adolescents have some type of chronic health condition or impairment. There has been a recent interest in the psychological aspects--emotional and behavioral--of chronic illness in children and adolescents. Major new areas of science, such as behavioral medicine, have emerged to address the research and clinical demands of this field. Several studies already have demonstrated the increased risk for psychiatric problems in children with chronic health conditions to be three to four times greater than their healthy peers. The proposed perspective shifts from a traditional sole reliance on medical diagnosis to a focus more on the dimensions of adjustment, socioeconomic status, visibility of condition, social support, and family functioning.

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