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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2006 Sep;16(5):335-41.

The self-concept of adolescents with cleft lip and palate: a pilot study using a multidimensional/hierarchical measurement instrument.

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  • 1Musculoskeletal Disorders, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To pilot the use of a multidimensional/hierarchical measurement instrument called the self-description questionnaire II to determine whether specific areas of self-concept in a group of adolescents with cleft lip and palate would be affected by their condition when compared with a normative sample.


The self-concept of 23 adolescents with a cleft of the lip and palate was compared to an Australian normative sample. Adolescents attending the dental department of a paediatric hospital in Australia.


The main outcome measure was a self-report questionnaire (102 items) with 10 domain-specific scales and a global measure of general self-concept.


When compared to the normative data the study group showed significant differences in 4 of the 11 domain-specific scales: Parent Relations (P < 0.001), Physical Abilities (P < 0.001), Opposite-Sex Relations (P < 0.01) and Physical Appearance (P < 0.01) self-concepts. These differences were in a positive direction. Global self-concept as measured by the General Self scale was not significantly different from the normative sample.


These results suggest that adolescents with clefts of the lip and palate have normative if not better self-concept than their peers. The study also suggests that having a cleft of the lip and palate has specific rather than broad associations with psychosocial adjustment. This justifies the use of instruments designed to assess specific areas of self-concept rather than more global measures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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