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Risk and protective factors at age 16: Psychological adjustment in children with a cleft lip and/or palate

Feragen, Kristin Billaud; Stock, Nicola Marie; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin


Kristin Billaud Feragen

Ingela Lundin Kvalem


© Copyright 2015 American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Objective: Explore psychological functioning in adolescents with a cleft at age 16 from a broad perspective, including cognitive, emotional, behavioral, appearance-related, and psychosocial adjustment. High-risk groups were identified within each area of adjustment to investigate whether vulnerable adolescents were found across domains or whether risk was limited to specific areas of adjustment. Methods: Cross-sectional data based on psychological assessments at age 16 (N=857). The effect of gender, cleft visibility, and the presence of an additional condition were investigated on all outcome variables. Results were compared with large national samples. Measures: Hopkins Symptom Checklist, Harter Self-Perception Scale for Adolescents, Child Experience Questionnaire, and Satisfaction With Appearance scale. Results: The main factor influencing psychological adjustment across domains was gender, with girls in general reporting more psychological problems, as seen in reference groups. The presence of an additional condition also negatively affected some of the measures. No support was found for cleft visibility as a risk factor except for dissatisfaction with appearance. Correlation analyses of risk groups seem to point to an association between social and emotional risk and between social risk and dissatisfaction with appearance. Associations between other domains were found to be weak. Conclusions: The results point to areas of both risk and strength in adolescents born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Future research should investigate how protective factors could counteract potential risk in adolescents with a cleft.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Journal Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Print ISSN 1055-6656
Electronic ISSN 1545-1569
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 5
Pages 555-573
APA6 Citation Feragen, K. B., Stock, N. M., & Kvalem, I. L. (2015). Risk and protective factors at age 16: Psychological adjustment in children with a cleft lip and/or palate. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 52(5), 555-573.
Keywords cleft palate, psychosocial adjustment, visible difference
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2015. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications


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