Psychological Adjustment of Children and Adolescents with Congenital and Acquired Limb Deficiencies

LORI ANN RUBENFELD, JAMES W. VARNI,DARLENE TALBOT AND YOSHIO SETOGUCHI, MD*


Chronically ill and handicapped children have been found previously to represent an "at risk" group for psychological problems. The order of magnitude of this risk has been estimated to vary from 1.5 to 3 times higher than physically healthy children. The "at risk" profile represents the mean across all children; consequently, some children may be experiencing considerable psychological distress. What has been needed is a screening instrument which allows the clinician to identify these children and adolescents who are or are not experiencing psychological problems. The Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist is an 138-item assessment instrument of well established reliability and validity, completed by the parent, with a parallel form for the adolescent. The instrument takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete and can be easily scored within 15 minutes.

We present findings on over 100 children and adolescents (age range 2-18 years) with congenital and acquired limb deficiencies and compare our results with other chronic illnesses and handicapping conditions.

*Child Amputee Prosthetics Project, 1000 Veteran Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024