Factors that influence adolescent adaptation to sickle cell disease

Burlew, Kathleen; Telfair, Joseph; Colangelo, Linda; Wright, Elizabeth C.; Burlew, K; Telfair, J; Colangelo, L; Wright, E C
July 2000
Journal of Pediatric Psychology;Jul2000, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p287
Academic Journal
journal article
Objective: To examine whether psychosocial factors play a more important role than biomedical risk factors in predicting adolescent adaptation to sickle cell disease (SCD); to determine whether psychosocial factors moderate the relationship between biomedical risk factors and adaptation.Methods: Ninety African American adolescents from the multisite Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease were recruited to complete a battery that included measures of psychosocial status and psychological adaptation. Data regarding their health status were collected from medical records.Results: The findings revealed that intrapersonal (self-esteem, social assertiveness), stress-processing (use of social support), and social ecological factors (family relations) were significant predictors of adaptation; however, biomedical factors did not predict adaptation. There was no evidence that psychosocial factors moderated the relationship between biomedical risk factors and adaptation.Conclusions: Psychosocial factors proved to be better predictors of adaptation than biomedical risk factors. Additional research is needed to better understand the nature of the interrelationships among biomedical risk factors, psychosocial factors, and adaptation.


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