Journal Article

Living With a Chronic Illness: A Measure of Social Functioning for Children and Adolescents

Christina D. Adams, Randi M. Streisand, Tricia Zawacki and Karen E. Joseph

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 27, issue 7, pages 593-605
Published in print October 2002 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online October 2002 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI:
Living With a Chronic Illness: A Measure of Social Functioning for
Children and Adolescents

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  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Psychology


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Objective: To describe the development and initial psychometric evaluation of a measure of social functioning in children and adolescents with chronic medical conditions, Living with a Chronic Illness (LCI), designed to distinguish social difficulties related to the illness from those social difficulties associated with other factors (e.g., limited income).

Methods: Parents (n = 108) and youths (n = 115) completed the LCI, along with other psychological measures (e.g., Youth Self-Report). Teachers completed the Teacher Report Form and provided grade and absence data. Health care utilization data were obtained from medical charts.

Results: Statistical analyses supported the internal consistency and initial validity of LCI scores. Correlational results strongly point to the distinction made between illness-related and non-illness-related social difficulties and suggest that the LCI has some relation to existing measures (e.g., Child Behavior Checklist), while still providing a unique perspective on children's social functioning. Univariate and regression analyses revealed significant relations between LCI scores and health care utilization.

Conclusions: These findings support the initial psychometric properties and clinical utility of the LCI scores. We discuss strengths and limitations of this study, as well as potential clinical applications for the LCI questionnaire.

Keywords: chronic illness; social functioning; children; adolescents; assessment

Journal Article.  8032 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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