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OBJECTIVE: TO explore the factors that predict psychosocial adjustment in young people with a cleft and their parents. DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS, SETTING: The study used a cross-sectional postal questionnaire design involving young people aged between 11 and 16 and their parents from two cleft services. Data are presented for 91 adolescents and their mothers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants completed measures of psychological adjustment, coping, social experiences, satisfaction with appearance, stressful life events, cleft-related factors, and demographic information. RESULTS: Psychosocial adjustment in adolescents was predicted by their social experiences and maternal well-being. Satisfaction with appearance, perceived speech problems, and the use of avoidant coping strategies were also important factors relating to their adjustment. For mothers, adjustment was predicted by use of coping strategies such as self-blame, venting, and acceptance, in addition to perceived problems with their child's hearing and the number of stressful life events experienced. CONCLUSIONS: The findings are discussed in relation to the concepts of adjustment, coping, satisfaction with appearance, and maternal mental health. Directions for future research are outlined, and a number of opportunities and challenges for cleft services regarding the provision of timely interventions for this age group and their families are discussed.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





82 - 90


Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Child, Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Mothers, Patient Satisfaction, Psychology, Adolescent, Surveys and Questionnaires