Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew F. Newcomb

Second Advisor

Dr. Warren P. Hopkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick J. Kozub


The psychosocial effects of juvenile rheumatic diseases and disease activity were examined among 24 families (12 with a rheumatic disease child, 12 with no chronic illness). Rheumatic disease children were paired with a healthy control child nominated by their classroom teacher. Family and child functioning was assessed through measures of stress, competence, coping, and adjustment while observations in the classroom were made to assess peer relations. MANOVA's and ANOVA's were performed to determine significant differences. Families with a child with inactive rheumatic disease tended to be less likely to seek out and accept help, more likely to put activities into a competitive framework, and displayed higher levels of mastery than families with a child with an active disease. Families of rheumatic disease children were less apt to encourage independence than control families, and rheumatic disease children used more coping strategies. Overall, rheumatic disease children and their families evidence functioning in the normal range and appear to have adequate coping strategies.

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Psychology Commons