Differential diagnosis of chronic fatigue in children: Behavioral and emotional dimensions

Bryan D. Carter, William G. Kronenberger, Joseph F. Edwards, Louise Michalczyk, Gary S. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A battery of self-report questionnaires and structured diagnostic interviews was administered to 20 children and adolescents who presented to a pediatric specialty clinic with chronic fatigue. Matched groups of healthy and depressed control subjects (aged 8 to 19 years) were also studied. Criteria were established to identify those items in the assessment battery that reliably differentiated among the three groups. Analysis of item content suggested several clusters of characteristics that discriminated among the subject groups, including life changes, cognitive difficulties, negative self-attributions, social relationship disruption, and somatic symptom presentation. The results suggest that certain psychological factors can discriminate chronic fatigue from depressive symptomatology, as well as normal functioning. Items discriminating among groups are presented in an organized questionnaire format to assist with the understanding and assessment of pediatric chronic fatigue cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Childhood and adolescence
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fatigue
  • Infectious diseases
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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