Evaluation of the children with beta-thalassemia in terms of their self-concept, behavioral, and parental attitudes

Yalcin S. S., Durmusoglu-Sendogdu M. C., Guemruek F., Unal S., Kargi E., Tugrul B.

JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY, vol.29, no.8, pp.523-528, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


This study was planned to explore the self-concept, behavioral, and parental attitudes of the children with beta-thalassemia major, and the factors that affect them. The study was undertaken between January and June 2004 at the Hacettepe University Ihsan Dogramaci Children's Hospital, Pediatric Hematology Unit, Ankara and 43 voluntary children with beta-thalassemia major on regular blood transfusion and iron chelation treatment between the ages of 5.0 and 18.0 years were included into the study. Age, sex, birth order, school performance, hemoglobin value, serum ferritin levels, associated illness, splenectomy status, presence of thalassemic sibling or relatives, death of thalassemic relatives, place of residence, maternal and paternal education were recorded. Parental Attitude Research Instrument, Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, and Child Behavior Checklist were applied. Higher educated mothers have lower overprotection (P = 0.009), parental discordance (P = 0.044), and discipline scores (P = 0.002) than lower educated mothers. In cases with death of thalassemic relatives, democratic/equality attitude scores were decreased (P = 0.034). With stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, splenectomy, good school achievement, absence of death of thalassemic relatives, and serum ferritin levels were found to increase Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale; however, total behavior problem score was found to decrease with increasing age, splenectomy and decreasing overprotection subscale of Parental Attitude Research Instrument scores. The self-esteem and behavior problems of children with thalassemia depended not only on the variables related exclusively to the child (age, school achievement) and the illness-associated conditions (splenectomy, serum ferritin levels) but also on the parental attitude (over- protection).