Brief report: Illness factors and child behavior before and during pediatric hospitalization

Michelle C. Levy, William G. Kronenberger, Bryan D. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Little is known about factors predicting in-hospital adjustment in children with chronic illnesses or about risk/protective factors for in-hospital behavior compared to out-of-hospital behavior. This study investigated the relationship between illness factors (chronicity and severity) and child adjustment in and out of the hospital. Methods: Parents and nurses completed questionnaires about in-hospital and home behavior for a sample of 85 hospitalized children. Results: In the hospital, children with acute illnesses demonstrated more internalizing behavior problems than children with chronic illnesses. Children with life-threatening illnesses had more internalizing and externalizing problems than children with non-life-threatening illnesses. Out of the hospital, children with chronic illnesses demonstrated more internalizing problems and a trend toward more externalizing problems than healthy children who later developed acute illnesses. Out of hospital behavior problems were unrelated to illness severity. Conclusions: Results suggest that different illness factors may predict in-hospital as compared to out-of-hospital behavioral adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Behavior problems
  • Children
  • Hospitalization
  • Pediatric consultation-liaison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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