Date of Award

1978

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Author's Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William G. Kirk

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated that there are personality differences between individuals suffering from chronic illnesses and those who are “healthy”. Personality correlates of chronically ill children have also been evidenced, especially regarding specific illnesses.

The present study sought to determine if children suffering from asthma, diabetes, and chronic renal failure exhibit personality characteristics unique to and/or common to these particular groups. A second objective was to determine if Asthmatic, Diabetic, and Chronic Renal Failure Children display a difference or commonality in locus of control expectancies.

Ten male and 13 female outpatients at the Pediatrics Clinic of Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago were verbally administered the California Test of Personality and the Nowicki-Strickland Internal/External Locus of Control Scale for Children. Their parents were also interviewed regarding their background. Ten of the children involved were diagnosed as asthmatic, six were diagnosed diabetic, and seven were diagnosed with chronic renal failure.

The findings did not support the hypothesis which proposed that there will be a significant difference in personality profiles among groups of Asthmatic, Diabetic, and Chronic Renal Failure Children as measured by the California Test of Personality nor did they support the secondary hypothesis that there will be a significant difference in locus of control expectancies among these three groups, as measured by the Nowicki-Strickland Internal/External Locus of Control Scale for Children. The only significant difference found between the groups were on the variables of number of visits to the clinic per year and the parent’s estimation of the child’s ability to cope. It was found the the Chronic Renal Failure Children visit the hospital clinic a significantly greater number of times and that the Diabetic Children are judged significantly less able to cope with their illness.

These findings may be due to the fact that these groups do exhibit no real personality and locus of control differences. However, the small number of subjects involved and the possibility that they are not representative of this population are limitations of the study which must be taken into account and may interfere with interpretation of these findings. Also, the shortcomings of the personality test must be noted.

Additional correlational results indicated a relationship between internality and greater psychological adjustment in chronically ill children. Increased internality of control with age was also supported.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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