Psychological adjustment in children and adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Sheri A. Berenbaum, Kristina Korman Bryk, Stephen C. Duck, Susan M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Objective To determine psychological health in individuals with one form of intersexuality, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and its relation to characteristics of the disease and treatment. Study design Participants (ages 3-31 years) included 72 females and 42 males with CAH, and unaffected relatives (44 females and 69 males). Psychological adjustment was assessed with parent-reports on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and subject self-reports on the Self-Image Questionnaire for Young Adolescents (SIQYA) or the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). Information about disease characteristics and genital surgery was obtained from medical records. Results There were no significant differences between females with CAH and unaffected females on any measure. Psychological adjustment was not significantly associated with genital virilization or age at genital surgery. Males with CAH were not significantly different from unaffected males in childhood, but they showed more negative affect at older ages. Conclusions Psychological adjustment is not compromised in females with virilized genitalia who are treated early in life and reared as females. Adjustment does not appear to depend on the characteristics of the disease or its treatment, but sample size and restricted range limit generalizability about adjustment-disease associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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