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Psychoendocrinological studies in dwarfed children and adolescents.
  1. H C Steinhausen,
  2. N Stahnke


    Thirty-two dwarfed children and adolescents were studied clinically, by laboratory assessment, by a battery of psychological tests and a structured interview. Growth hormone deficiency was present in 16 cases, but in the remaining 16 cases there was no endocrine disease. Dwarfed children differed from nornal controls in perception, and a specific personality pattern emerged in the dwarfed children. The effects of age, sex, and socioeconomic status on personality traits were similar for dwarfs as for controls. Intelligence and personality variable were similar in dwarfs with and without endocrine disease. However, symptoms of the psychoendocrine syndrome, namely appetite and thirst disturbances, hypersensitivities, and impulse reduction, were more frequently seen among hypopituitary dwarfs. Social and coping behaviour was impaired in the majority of dwarfs. It is concluded that psychological disturbance occuring inchildren of small stature is a response to being small and is not attributable to any endocrine effect.

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