September 1974

Psychological Aspects of the "Cleft Palate Problem

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore


vol 1 and 2, by DC Spriestersbach, 172 pp (vol 1), 300 pp (vol 2), $12.50 for both volumes, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(3):460. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360030112038

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This 172-page book represents a monumental study, with a plethora of data—both factual and "personal"—of the "life and times" of the child-family "syndrome" of cleft lip and palate, from birth to 16 years. Clinical families and "control" families of 175 child-parent combinations each were studied.

How does one study the physician, nurse, mother, father, patient, sibling, grandparent, urban-rural, financial, speaking, hearing, learning, feeling, surgery, dentistry, speech training, neighbor, peer, teacher, store clerk, religious relationships to cleft lip and palate? The Kinsey interview technique, with modifications by Darley, was utilized as the method of study, and it appears to have been well suited to the task.

Hypotheses of the study were as follows: (1) Factors in addition to anatomical deviations differentiate the child with cleft palate from other children. (2) The nature and severity of adjustment problems of individuals with clefts are determined in part by (a) adequacy of information parents

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