Adjustment of Adolescents to Chronic Disability

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Abstract

The relationship between adolescents' adjustment to a chronic disability and eight demographic and attitudinal variables was investigated. Adjustment was defined as the Total Positive Score on the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Study subjects were 59 adolescent females with idiopathic scoliosis and their mothers. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis identified four variables correlated with adjustment of adolescent females to scoliosis. The four variables, in decreasing order or importance, were: (a) adolescents' tendency toward the containerisolator end of Wright's (1960) theoretical continuum of coping responses to a physical disability as measured by an Attitude Toward Disability Test; (b) a dimension of maternal attitude toward disability (Distressed Identification factor) as measured by the General Form of the Disability Factor Scale; (c) a dependency factor of maternal attitude toward females and persons with scoliosis as measured by a factor analyzed 70-item semantic differential scale; and (d) a maternal high self concept factor from the semantic differential scale. Subjects did not differ significantly from peers on the adjustment measure. Implications for treatment and rehabilitation were discussed.

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