Date of Award
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The intellectual, neuropsychological, and emotional sequelae of infantile hydrocephalus were assessed in a sample of 48 five- to eight-year-old children who had been surgically treated for hydrocephalus in the first year of life. Children were given a comprehensive battery of psychological tests. Their parents completed questionnaires pertaining to the psychological adjustment of their child and to their own distress. The significance of a variety of medical history variables with regard to psychometric intelligence was assessed with stepwise discriminant analyses. This revealed that many medical history variables were neutral with regard to intellectual outcome. The presence of additional medical problems in infancy, as well as current ocular defects, were the most significant variables that were associated with a high likelihood of mental retardation. Cluster analyses were used to identify subtypes of hydrocephalic children on the basis of their performance on a group of neuropsychological measures. Two clusters were found, which differed from each other mainly in level of performance. In general, all hydrocephalic children tended to perform relatively poorly on measures of complex visual-spatial processing. Cluster analyses on the results of the child personality questionnaires also revealed two clusters. One of these clusters included mainly children that were unimpaired, whereas the other cluster included children with many cognitive and physical deficits. Discriminant and regression analyses revealed that there were no strong relationships between distress of the parents and a variety of physical and social variables. It was concluded that a comprehensive evaluation of the complete medical history of hydrocephalic children can help to identify children that are at risk for impaired intellectual development. However, the cognitive and behavioral outcome of infantile hydrocephalus spanned a wide range: from severely impaired to superior. The possibility of true neuropsychological or emotional subtypes could not be determined on the basis of this study. The possibility that early impairments of visual-spatial processing may represent a risk factor with regard to cognitive or behavioral dysfunctions at a later age was discussed. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 50-03, Section: B, page: 1104. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1988.
Donders, Jacobus., "Psychological sequelae of infantile hydrocephalus." (1988). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3224.