The pattern of childhood illness has changed significantly during this century. Many frightening conditions such as polio and tuberculosis have essentially been eradicated. Other conditions that were once fatal have now achieved the status of chronic disorders, for example, leukemia, cancer, and cystic fibrosis. Technological advances which have resulted in the medical treatment of these conditions have, however, created a gamut of psychological problems for the children and their families. Recognition of these problems has lagged behind other advances in pediatric medicine. The emergence of a specialist area of pediatric psychology (Wright, 1975) has largely been responsible for the mushrooming of research in the area. In much early work, the emphasis was on the impact of chronic illness on children and their families. Reactions at times of greatest trauma, especially diagnosis or death, were particularly well documented. Issues relating to day-to-day aspects of child care, involving questions of discipline or protectiveness, have received much less attention. As far as the sick child is concerned, there has been much investigation of academic and intellectual development, as well as of personality changes that might accompany illness.
Table of ContentsI Children in Health and Illness.- 1 Approaches to the Study of Sick Children.- A Social-Psychological Approach.- Coping Approaches.- 2 Children’s Knowledge About Their Bodies and Illness.- Development of Children’s Ideas About Bodies.- Development of Children’s Ideas About Illness.- Development of Sick Children’s Ideas About Illness.- Development of Children’s Ideas About Health.- Conclusions.- 3 Children in the Hospital.- Historical Perspectives.- Preparation for Hospital Admission.- Parent Education.- Children’s Perceptions of Hospitals.- Children’s Ideas About Medical Procedures.- Conclusions.- 4 Effects of Chronic Illness on the Child, Family, and Siblings.- Effects of Chronic Illness on the Child.- Assessing the Effects of Chronic Illness on the Child.- Effects of Chronic Illness on the Family.- Effects of Chronic Illness on Siblings.- Conclusions.- II Psychological Studies of Specific Chronic Illnesses.- 5 Phenylketonuria.- Causes of the Disease and Treatment.- Effects of Phenylketonuria on the Child.- Diet Termination in Phenylketonuria.- Effects of Phenylketonuria on the Family.- Conclusions.- 6 Diabetes.- Causes of the Disease and Treatment.- Effects of Diabetes on the Child.- Children’s Knowledge About Diabetes.- Effects of Diabetes on the Family.- Conclusions.- 7 Asthma.- Causes of the Disease and Treatment.- Effects of Asthma on the Child.- Effects of Asthma on the Family.- Conclusions.- 8 Leukemia.- Causes of the Disease and Treatment.- Effects of Leukemia on the Child.- Effects of Leukemia on the Family.- Conclusions.- 9 Towards a Synthesis.- A Developmental Theory of Illness Behavior.- A Summary of the Cognitive Approach to Understanding Children’s Concepts of Illness.- Implications for the Care of Sick Children.- Implications for Dealing With the Parents of Sick Children.- Summary.- References.- Author Index.