Psychological Adjustment of Seriously Ill Children

Larue Allen, Edward Zigler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-three boys and girls with cancer, ages 5-10, were matched with a comparison group of healthy children. They were administered measures of cognitive development, adjustment, and humor. Few differences were found between ill and well children across a broad array of measures. Ill children were found to have lower scores on two measures of cognition, and more frequently rated a cartoon funny when they did not understand the joke. The generally comparable performances of ill and well children were interpreted as a manifestation of healthy denial among the ill group. Age and health group interactions offered evidence of the effects of age as a moderating variable in the relationship between a stressor and its impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-712
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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