Long — Term Physical Illness in Childhood: A Challenge to Psychosocial Adaptation

  • Ake Mattsson
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


Robert Louis Stevenson, a victim of pulmonary tuberculosis, once wrote, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” Children with a chronic physical disorder who have successfully mastered the physical, social, and emotional hardships associated with their illness well illustrate his point. This paper intends to review the common forms of emotional stress experienced by the child with a long-term illness and by his parents. It also describes the major adaptational techniques enabling the sick child and his family to achieve a satisfactory psychosocial adaptation.


Cystic Fibrosis Cleft Palate Coping Behavior Child Psychiatry Parental Rejection 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ake Mattsson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Virginia Medical CenterCharlottesvilleVirginiaUSA

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