Maternal correlates of self-esteem and overall adjustment in children with birth defects

Claire A. Fishman, Daniel B. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The present study was designed to test hypotheses relating eight maternal attitudes and behaviors to the self-esteem and overall adjustment of children with birth defects. To test these hypotheses, 35 pre- and early adolescent children with birth defects and their mothers were each independently assessed, by means of questionnaires and systematic, quantitative ratings of semistructured interviews. The results generally support the hypotheses for five of the maternal variables: (a) active "cognitive confrontation" of the child's defect at the time of its discovery; (b) open communication with the child about his defect and related issues; (c) liking and respect for the child; (d) a positive accepting outlook towards the child's future; and (e) encouragement of the child's independence and achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1971

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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