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Arch Dis Child 89:17-21 doi:10.1136/adc.2002.010694
  • Community child health, public health, and epidemiology

Personality functioning: the influence of stature

  1. F Ulph,
  2. P Betts,
  3. J Mulligan,
  4. R J Stratford
  1. University of Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R Stratford
    Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK; R.J.Stratfordsoton.ac.uk
  • Accepted 2 April 2003

Abstract

Background: The Wessex Growth Study has monitored the psychological development of a large cohort of short normal and average height control participants since school entry.

Aims: To examine the effect of stature on their personality functioning now that they are aged 18–20 years.

Methods: This report contains data from 48 short normal and 66 control participants. Mean height SD score at recruitment was: short normals −2.62 SD, controls −0.22 SD. Final height SD score was: short normals −1.86, controls 0.07. The Adolescent to Adult Personality Functioning Assessment (ADAPFA) measures functioning in six domains: education and employment, love relationships, friendships, coping, social contacts, and negotiations.

Results: No significant effect of recruitment height or final height was found on total ADAPFA score or on any of the domain scores. Socioeconomic status significantly affected total score, employment and education, and coping domain scores. Gender had a significant effect on total score, love relationships, coping, and social contacts domain scores. Salient aspects of daily living for this sample were identified from the interviews (prevalence%): consuming alcohol (94%), further education (63%), love relationships (55%), current drug use (29%), experience of violence (28%), parenthood (11%), and unemployment (9%). Stature was not significantly related to behaviour in any of these areas.

Conclusions: Despite previously reported links between short stature and poorer psychosocial adaptation, no evidence was found that stature per se significantly affected the functioning of the participants in these areas as young adults.

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