Journal Article

Social Functioning and Facial Expression Recognition in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors

Melanie J. Bonner, Kristina K. Hardy, Victoria W. Willard, Kelly K. Anthony, Maggie Hood and Sridharan Gururangan

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 33, issue 10, pages 1142-1152
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsn035
Social Functioning and Facial Expression Recognition in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors

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Objective To assess social functioning and facial expression recognition skill in survivors of pediatric brain tumors (BT) as compared to children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Methods The social functioning of 51 survivors of BT and 31 children with JRA was assessed using a facial expression recognition task, questionnaire ratings of social functioning, and an IQ screener. Results After controlling for estimated IQ, survivors of BT made significantly more errors interpreting adult facial expressions as compared to children with JRA. Additionally, history of therapy and diagnosis age predicted performance on the child portion of the facial recognition task. Finally, survivors of BT demonstrated significantly impaired social functioning across multiple measures when compared to children with JRA. Conclusions Survivors of pediatric BT showed significant deficits in social functioning as compared to an illness comparison group. Errors in facial expression recognition represent another method for evaluating deficits that contribute to social outcomes.

Keywords: late effects; pediatric brain tumors; social functioning; survivorship

Journal Article.  6414 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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