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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2001 Jan;38(1):68-75.

Different cleft conditions, facial appearance, and speech: relationship to psychological variables.

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Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, USA.



The purpose of this investigation was to study the adjustment and learning characteristics of children with different types of clefts. The hypotheses were that there may be different relationships among cleft variables (speech and appearance) according to the cleft types.


The study compared three cleft groups on behavior rating, anxiety scales, depression scales, and self-perception (analyses of variance) and examined the influence of facial and speech ratings on self-perception (multiple regression analyses).


All patients were treated at a university hospital cleft palate clinic.


Sixty-five children aged 8 years to 17 years were selected based on nonsyndromic cleft (unilateral cleft lip and palate [ULP], bilateral cleft lip and palate [BLP], and cleft palate only [CPO]) and no significant neurological condition or hearing loss.


The findings indicated children with CPO showed greater problems with parent- and teacher-reported depression, anxiety, and learning related to speech than children with ULP or BLP. The later two groups showed fewer problems and a greater relationship of problem to facial appearance. The children with ULP self-reported lower levels of depression than the other two groups.


Children with cleft show relatively good overall adjustment, but some problems appear related to speech and facial appearance. Subgroups may need to be studied separately.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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