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Cognitive status as a risk factor for maladjustment in children with a physical disability

Keywords: children, physical disability, adjustment, cognitive functioning.

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investigated the association between cognitive status and adjustment in children who have a physical disability, in three independent studies. in study 1, 119 mothers reported on the cognitive status and behavioral adjustment of their children, ages 2-18, who had varying physical or sensory impairments. in study 2, the intellectual level of 50 children, ages 6-11, with either spina bifida or cerebral palsy, was estimated from cognitive test information while mothers reported on the children's behavioral adjustment. in study 3, 66 adolescents, ages 11-18, with a physical disability completed an iq test and reported on their behavioral adjustment, as did their mothers. severity of physical disability was also assessed in each study. no relationships could be found between any index of cognitive status and any adjustment measure when controlling for severity of physical disability. the overwhelming majority of zero-order relationships were also not significant. these findings were discussed in relation to wallander and varni's disability-stress-coping model of adjustment in children with chronic physical conditions.


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