College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Trajectories of Psychosocial Adjustment in Adolescents with Spina Bifida: A Six-Year Four-Wave Longitudinal Follow-Up

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2010

Keywords

Spina Bifida, Psychosocial Adjustment, Growth Analyses, Adolescence

Publication Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

ISSN

0022-006X

Volume

78

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Objective: As a follow-up to an earlier cross-sectional study (Holmbeck et al., 2003), the current multimethod, multi-informant investigation examined individual growth in psychosocial adjustment across the adolescent transition in 2 samples: young adolescents with spina bifida (SB) and typically developing adolescents (N=68 in both groups at Time 1). Method: Growth curve modeling procedures were used to describe the developmental course of psychosocial adjustment across 4 waves of data collection from ages 8 to 15. Child gender was included in the models as a moderator of associations between illness status and adjustment trajectories. Results and Conclusions: Findings revealed that preadolescent differences between groups were maintained for several adjustment variables, indicating that adolescents with SB have enduring academic and attention problems and difficulties with social development (e.g., fewer friends and less influence during family interactions). For other outcomes, trajectories of adjustment levels for adolescents with SB converged on levels observed in comparison adolescents, indicating some areas of resilience. Girls with SB were at risk for increasing levels of social difficulties and negative perceptions of their physical appearance. Clinical implications are discussed.

DOI

10.1037/a0019599