Abstract

Reviewed 87 studies of children's adjustment to physical disorders in a metaanalysis. Results indicate (a) children with such disorders show increased risk for overall adjustment problems, internalizing and externalizing symptoms; (b) risk was greatest in studies making comparisons to norms rather than to study controls; (c) risk varied by informant (teacher, mental health professional, parent), and by degree of matching with controls; (d) the self-concept of children with physical disorders across all studies appears significantly lower than that of healthy children, but the differences are not significant for studies with careful matching or comparisons with norms; (e) there are interdisease differences, but the number of studies within individual disorders, with a few exceptions, are quite small. The need for improved methodology is discussed.

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