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Arch Dis Child 75:25-31 doi:10.1136/adc.75.1.25
  • Research Article

Short stature--the role of intelligence in psychosocial adjustment.

  1. J Gilmour,
  2. D Skuse
  1. Behavioural Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, London.

      Abstract

      Short children are often described as having psychosocial problems. These reports may be inaccurate as former studies have relied largely on parental report. Psychosocial functioning of short children was assessed with the aim of using them and their peers as informants. Twenty two short (mean (SD) height -2.53 (0.28) SD score) prepubertal children aged between 6 and 11 years were recruited from growth clinics. Comparison children were recruited from each case child's class at school. Cognitive and psychosocial functioning was assessed. Peer relationships were measured using sociometry. There were no significant group differences in terms of peer acceptance, self perception, and social competence. Although cases described themselves as receiving less social support from teachers, no differences were evident in other areas of social support. Little evidence was found to suggest clinic referred prepubertal short children are psychosocially maladjusted. Further analysis revealed cognitive ability was a better predictor than height for most aspects of behavioural and emotional adjustment.