College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Trajectories of Family Processes across the Adolescent Transition in Youth with Spina Bifida

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2009

Keywords

Spina Bifida, Family Processes, Growth Curve, Adolescence

Publication Title

Journal of Family Psychology

ISSN

0893-3200

Volume

23

Issue/No.

5

Abstract

The current study investigated change in family processes, including conflict, cohesion, and stress, across the adolescent transition, comparing the developmental trajectories of youth with and without spina bifida. Individual growth curve modeling procedures were utilized to describe the developmental course of family processes across 4 waves of data collection, from ages 9 to 15 years, and to test whether illness status (spina bifida vs. matched comparison group [N=68 for both groups at Time 1]) would significantly predict individual variability in family processes. Potential moderators (child gender, socioeconomic status [SES], and child verbal ability) of the association between illness status and family functioning were also examined. Differences were found between the trajectories of family processes for families of youth with and without spina bifida. For families of youth with spina bifida, changes in family conflict and cohesion may be less dramatic than or inconsistent with what is expected during typical adolescence. Families of youth with spina bifida from low SES homes appear to demonstrate resilience in terms of family stress.

DOI

10.1037/a0016116