An exploration of the psychosocial consequences of delayed puberty in children who attend the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Endocrine Clinic: A qualitative study and clinical research portfolio

McKillop, Kirsten Ann (2013) An exploration of the psychosocial consequences of delayed puberty in children who attend the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Endocrine Clinic: A qualitative study and clinical research portfolio. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Background: Puberty is considered to be delayed if sexual maturation occurs beyond 13 years in girls and 14 years in boys. Physical consequences of delayed puberty include short stature and immature appearance, relative to their chronological age. Psychosocial consequences include social withdrawal and isolation, teasing and bullying, parental over protection, poor body image, low self-esteem and declining academic performance. Research findings in this area can be conflicting with most of the focus being upon delayed growth. Consequently, the psychosocial impact of delayed puberty remains unclear. This study aimed to explore adolescents’ experiences of delayed puberty from a psychosocial perspective. Method: Five adolescents with delayed puberty attending the Royal Hospital for Sick Children were recruited to the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Analysis identified five super-ordinate themes: Confusion Surrounding Diagnosis, Adolescents’ Internal Experience, Adolescents’ External Experience, Coping and Future Prognosis. They reported a range of emotional, behavioural, social and psychological affects. Adolescents utilised various maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies to help them manage the consequences they experience. They reported feelings of confusion and uncertainty surrounding their diagnosis and treatment which may be contributing to the emotional and psychological symptoms. Conclusion: Adolescents reported that delayed puberty only affects certain areas of their life and that they are generally happy with who they are. This study emphasises the importance of adolescents receiving clear information about delayed puberty and its treatment as soon as possible when they first attend the endocrine clinic to help manage the psychological and emotional consequences reported.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Delayed Puberty, Psychosocial, Psychological, Patient Experience, IPA, Qualitative
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Wilson, Dr. Sarah and McHugh, Dr. Kathleen
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Ms Kirsten McKillop
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4655
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2013 11:52
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2013 11:55
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4655

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