Adjustment to chronic arthritis of childhood: The roles of illness-related stress and attitude toward illness

Jennifer Soriano LeBovidge*, John V. Lavigne, Michael L. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship of psychosocial stress and attitude toward illness to psychological adjustment among youth with chronic arthritis. Methods: Seventy-five youths with chronic arthritis aged 8-18 years were administered a semi-structured interview assessing illness-related and nonillness-related stressors in important life domains. Children also completed measures of attitude toward illness, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Parents completed a measure of child psychosocial adjustment. Results: Higher levels of illness-related and nonillness-related stress were associated with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms and parent-reported adjustment problems, while a more positive attitude toward illness was associated with lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Attitude toward illness moderated the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Results suggest the importance of assessing life stress and attitude toward illness among youth with arthritis and developing interventions to help children cope with arthritis-related stressors and promote a more positive attitude toward illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-286
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2005



  • Attitudes toward illness
  • Chronic arthritis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pediatric chronic illness
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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