An assessment of health cognition and health locus of control (HLOC) was obtained in 85 healthy and 81 chronically ill children, using instruments adapted from Piaget's work and standard HLOC measures. A relationship between HLOC and compliance was sought in a subset of children with spina bifida taught self-catheterization. Evidence of the developmental nature of health cognition and HLOC was documented. Contrary to the effect of experimence in formal learning, experience with chronic disease did not alter developmental progression in these health-related areas. Our results suggest that in communicating with children about illness, the pediatrician's approach should not be altered by an appearance of superficial sophistication that some children may acquire as part of their experience with chronic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health