Self-esteem of children and adolescents who have a craniofacial anomaly

Heather T Snyder, Fordham University


Self-esteem and behavioral adjustment were compared between children and adolescents with a craniofacial anomaly (CFA) and normative samples. The contribution of self-concepts, social experiences, and behavioral adjustment to self-esteem in children and adolescents with a CFA also were examined to determine if these children devalue physical appearance. Chart reviews were conducted for completed Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC), Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) protocols. The self-perceptions measures were completed by the child or adolescent and the behavior measure was completed by the parent or guardian. There were 173 protocols of children with a CFA and 43 adolescents with a CFA. Confidence intervals for the means showed that children and adolescents with a CFA did not differ from the normative samples in global self-esteem, several self-concept domains, and some behavioral adjustment scales. Differences were found in social experiences and several behavioral adjustment domains. When differences were found, they were age- and gender-specific. There was no evidence that children and adolescents devalued physical appearance because physical appearance was an important unique contributor to self-esteem. Furthermore, when the sample of children with a CFA was divided into two clinically relevant groups (high and low self-esteem), differences were found on almost all scales measured, with the children who had high self-esteem reporting higher self-perceptions and their parents reporting better social experiences and behavioral adjustment. It was concluded that differences do not exist between children and adolescents with a CFA and normative samples on many aspects of psychosocial adjustment. It also was concluded that physical appearance is an important contributor to self-esteem, even in children and adolescents who look markedly different from their peers. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Psychotherapy|Physiological psychology

Recommended Citation

Snyder, Heather T, "Self-esteem of children and adolescents who have a craniofacial anomaly" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3037231.