Trajectories of psychosocial adjustment in adolescents with Spina bifida: A 6-year, four-wave longitudinal follow-up

Grayson N. Holmbeck, Christian Delucia, Bonnie Essner, Lauren Kelly, Kathy Zebracki, Deborah Friedman, Barbara Jandasek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: As a follow-up to an earlier cross-sectional study (Holmbeck et al., 2003), the current multimethod, multi-informant investigation examined individual growth in psychosocial adjustment across the adolescent transition in 2 samples: young adolescents with spina bifida (SB) and typically developing adolescents (N = 68 in both groups at Time 1). Method: Growth curve modeling procedures were used to describe the developmental course of psychosocial adjustment across 4 waves of data collection from ages 8 to 15. Child gender was included in the models as a moderator of associations between illness status and adjustment trajectories. Results and Conclusions: Findings revealed that preadolescent differences between groups were maintained for several adjustment variables, indicating that adolescents with SB have enduring academic and attention problems and difficulties with social development (e.g., fewer friends and less influence during family interactions). For other outcomes, trajectories of adjustment levels for adolescents with SB converged on levels observed in comparison adolescents, indicating some areas of resilience. Girls with SB were at risk for increasing levels of social difficulties and negative perceptions of their physical appearance. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-525
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • adolescence
  • growth analyses
  • psychosocial adjustment
  • spina bifida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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