Temperament, coping, and psychological adjustment in young children with myelomeningocele

John V. Lavigne*, Daniel Nolan, David G. Mclone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The psychosocial factors that increase the risk of psychological problems among children with myelomeningocele are not well delineated. In this study, the parents of 34 children (18 boys, 16 girls) with myelomeningocele who were between the ages of 3 and 8 years completed questionnaires describing the child's temperament, coping ability, and level of family cohesiveness and family organization. Total behavior problem scores on the Child Behavior Checklist were associated with lower levels of family cohesiveness, lower self-coping ability, greater temperament difficulty, and lower distractibility. Regression analyses with each variable entered separately indicated that distractibility and self-coping ability accounted for 57% of the variance in total behavior problem scores and 52% of the variance in externalizing problem scores. Temperamental difficulty and distractibility accounted for 44% of the variance in internalizing problem scores. When combined coping and temperamental difficulty variables were entered into regression analysis, family cohesiveness also was associated with total behavior problems and internalizing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-378
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1988


  • Chronic illness
  • Coping
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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