Developmental approach to the psychology of craniofacial anomalies

M. L. Speltz, M. T. Greenberg, M. C. Endriga, H. Galbreath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article outlines a developmental perspective on psychosocial maladjustment and its implications for the psychological study and treatment of individuals with craniofacial anomalies. A developmental theory of attachment is described and used to formulate hypotheses about the developing parent-child relationship during the first 5 years of life and its influence on the child's subsequent social and emotional growth. Preliminary research involving infants with clefts and other craniofacial anomalies is reviewed with respect to hypothesized points of vulnerability in the attachment process. Two major points are made: (1) developmental theory provides a framework for the early identification of children in this population with elevated risk of subsequent psychosocial problems, and (2) among the multiple child and family variables associated with elevated risk, a craniofacial anomaly is unlikely to produce maladjustment in the absence of one or more other risk conditions such as family adversity, insecure attachment, or compromised child characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Developmental approach to the psychology of craniofacial anomalies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this