Relationship between parental emotional states, family environment and the behavioural adjustment of pediatric burn survivors

J. LeDoux, W. J. Meyer, P. E. Blakeney, D. N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between psychosocial adjustment of the burned child and characteristics of the child's family. It hypothesized that parents who perceived their children without major behavioural problems would possess supportive family values and would, themselves, be better adjusted psychologically than those parents who perceived their children as possessing multiple behavioural problems. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select 35 (29 boys, 6 girls) paediatric burn survivors, ages 9 to 18, 1-5 years post-burn, with burn sizes ranging from 3 to 92% burn. Subjects' parents were administered the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), the Family Environment Scale (FES), the Impact of Events Scale (IES), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The subjects were divided into two groups on the basis of the total problem CBCL scores, i.e, troubled (T ≤ 60) or untroubled (T < 60). One-way ANOVA tests revealed no significant differences between the two groups in the way parents reacted to trauma (IES) and parental depression (BDI). Significant differences (p < 0.01) were revealed between the two groups on FES subscales. The parents of the untroubled group scored higher on 'Cohesion' and 'Organization' and lower on 'Conflict'. These parents also scored higher (p ≤ 0.05) on 'Achievement Orientation'. The results indicate that work with the family to promote cohesion, to decrease conflict, to enhance stability and to promote expectation of positive achievement must be a part of the rehabilitation of the burned child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Burns
  • Children
  • Family
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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