Change in the Psychological Adjustment of Children with Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Disease and Their Mothers
Objectives: This study has three interrelated objectives: (1) to track the adjustment of children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) or cystic fibrosis (CF) and their mothers through a third assessment point 2 years after the initial assessment; (2) to determine whether the adaptational processes of the transactional stress and coping model associated with adjustment at the initial assessment continue to be associated with adjustment 2 years later; and (3) to determine whether the pattern of association of adaptational processes with adjustments differs by illness subgroup. Methods: The study samples included 59 children with CF and 50 children with SCD and their mothers. Measures were obtained on maternal adjustment and appraisals of daily and illness stress, coping methods, and family functioning. Child measures included child-reported and mother-reported child adjustment and child perceptions of self-worth and health locus of control and pain coping methods. Results: Consistency in adjustment classification was only 31-32% for child self-report, 66% for mother-reported child behavior problems, and 56-77% for mother self-reported adjustment for the CF and SCD groups, respectively. Support was provided for the association of adaptational processes with maternal adjustment and with the adjustment of children with SCD but not for children with CF. Conclusion: The stability of adjustment has implications for prevention and treatment intervention and subsequent research steps. Intervention efforts should be focused on the relatively small subgroups of children with chronic illnesses and their mothers with consistently poor adjustment.
Thompson, RJ; Gustafson, KE; Gil, KM; Kinney, TR; Spock, A
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