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Title: Stigma, concealment, illness perceptions and psychosocial difficulties in children with physical health conditions and their parents
Author: Hackford, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0005 0288 4396
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Aims: The overall purpose of this study was to understand the relationships between physical health stigma, concealment, illness perceptions, and psychosocial difficulties in children with physical health conditions and their parents. Further objectives were to identify which of these factors predicted children’s psychosocial difficulties, and which factors predicted concealment. Method: A cross-sectional survey was completed by 61 child-parent pairs attending dermatology or urology outpatient clinics in a London paediatric hospital. Children and parents completed validated measures of stigma, concealment, illness perceptions, and children’s psychosocial difficulties. Results: Correlational analyses revealed that in children, stigma was associated with concealment and illness perceptions, both with a large effect size. Children’s psychosocial difficulties were associated with child stigma and parent stigma, both with a medium effect size, and also with illness perceptions, with a small effect size. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses found that both child and parent stigma independently predicted children’s psychosocial difficulties (a composite of emotional and peer problems). Child stigma predicted child concealment, and parent stigma predicted parent concealment. However, there was no relationship between any child and parent-rated factors. Conclusions: The stigma perceptions of both children with physical health conditions and their parents need to be taken into account in the context of understanding the child’s psychosocial difficulties, and families should be supported in making decisions about concealment. As child and parent factors were not associated with each other, wider influences on children’s stigma experiences should also be considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available