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Prepubertal children with short stature have a different perception of their well-being and stature than their parents

Journal article
Authors Ann Erling
I. Wiklund
Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland
Published in Quality of Life Research
Volume 3
Issue 6
Pages 425-429
ISSN 0962-9343
Publication year 1994
Published at Department of Psychology
Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Paediatrics
Pages 425-429
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


The well-being of children with short stature has commonly been assessed by questioning the children's parents and teachers. Few studies have included questionnaires completed by the children themselves. The aim of this study was to compare how short children and their parent perceive the height and well-being of the child. A total of 80 prepubertal children who were investigated for short stature at the Children's Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden were included in the study. The Silhouette Apperception Technique (SAT) was used to estimate the perception by the child and his/her parents of the child's present stature, as well as their expectations of the child's final stature. The mean ratings of the parents' and children's perception of the child's present stature indicate that both children and parents tend to overestimate it. The mean rating of the children's expectations of final height suggests that the children have high and unrealistic expectations of achieving a tall stature. A visual analogue (VA) scale was used to assess aspects of well-being. Although the children in this study did not seem to have a negative perception of their own well-being, their parents rated the children's well-being lower. The correlation between the ratings of parents and children were comparatively low on both the SAT and the VA scale, indicating that conclusions about how children perceive their height and well-being cannot be based solely on the opinions of proxy respondents such as parents.

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