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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2003 June;55(3):261-6

language: Italian

Psychological findings in children with short stature

Mazzone D., Nicolosi A., Aliberti C., Mazzone L., Caruso-Nicoletti M.


Aim. The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychological findings in patients with short stature.
Methods. We studied 19 subjects, 13 males and 6 females, with age range 7-14 years. We evaluated heigth, growth velocity, bone age, target height and growth hormone secretion after provocative stimuli. Psychological evaluation included: Kovacs Scale, Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), Anxiety Scale (Busnelli-Dall'Aglio-Farina); drawing of the human figure (Goodenough Test); Raven Test for neuropsychological performances (P.M. 38 and 47). Statistical analysis was performed using Mann-Whitney U-test.
Results. We diagnosed familial short stature (FSS) in 7 patients and growth hormone deficit (GHD) in 12. No statistical difference was found in the anxiety and depression tests, although the score was higher in GHD patients.
The human figure drawing and the interview revealed low self-esteem, sense of inadequacy, dependence from parents, social inhibition in all patients. These characteristics were more evident in patients with GHD. Neuropsycho-logical evaluation by Raven test showed normal score in all patients, however subjects with FSS exhibited a higher score than with GHD (p<0.05).
Conclusions. Our data suggest a negative influence of short stature on the affective field of children with short stature; GHD patients exhibited lower neuropsychological performances and more psychological problems than patients with FSS.

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