Social self-perception among pediatric brain tumor survivors compared with peers.

Salley CG, Gerhardt CA, Fairclough DL, Patenaude AF, Kupst MJ, Barrera M, Vannatta K
J Dev Behav Pediatr 35 427-34 09/01/2014


OBJECTIVE: To assess self-perceptions of social behavior among children treated for a brain tumor and comparison children. To investigate group differences in the accuracy of children's self-perceptions as measured by discrepancies between self and peer reports of social behavior and to understand if these phenomena differ by gender.

METHOD: Self and peer reports of social behavior were obtained in the classrooms of 116 children who were treated for an intracranial tumor. Social behaviors were assessed using the Revised Class Play, which generates indices for 5 behavioral subscales: Leadership-popularity, Prosocial, Aggressive-disruptive, Sensitive-isolated, and Victimization. A child matched for gender, race, and age was selected from each survivor's classroom to serve as a comparison. Abbreviated IQ scores were obtained in participants' homes.

RESULTS: Relative to comparison children, those who had undergone treatment for a brain tumor overestimated their level of Leadership-popularity and underestimated levels of Sensitive-isolated behaviors and Victimization by peers. Female survivors were more likely than male survivors to underestimate Sensitive-isolated behaviors and Victimization.

CONCLUSION: Following treatment for a brain tumor, children (particularly girls) may be more likely than healthy children to underestimate peer relationship difficulties. These discrepancies should be considered when obtaining self-report from survivors and developing interventions to improve social functioning.

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