Eur J Pediatr Surg 1998; 8: 5-9
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1071243
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Mother and Teacher Reports of Behaviour and Perceived Self-Competence of Children with Hydrocephalus

J.  Williams , S.  Lyttle
  • Division of Psychology, School of Behavioural Studies, Nene - University College Northampton, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 March 2008 (online)


The present study was designed to explore the social and behavioural functioning of children with hydrocephalus. The sample comprised 14 children with hydrocephalus (without spina bifida) and 14 controls with no history of neurological impairment matched for age and gender. Children were asked to report on their self-perceptions of academic and physical competence and on peer and maternal acceptance. In addition, mothers and teachers provided reports of the behavioural adjustment of both groups and mothers completed a questionnaire measuring locus of control orientation. Mothers of children with hydrocephalus also responded to a series of open-ended questions, their thoughts and feelings about the experience of having a child with hydrocephalus. Analyses of the data revealed that there was no difference in the self-perceptions of the two groups of children, although there was a trend for children with hydrocephalus to rate themselves as being lower in physical competence. There was a clear association between the presence of hydrocephalus and behaviour problems, with evidence of internalising and externalising problems being evident in the reports of both mothers and teachers, although the extent of agreement between the two informants was low. Maternal locus of control was related to behaviour problems in children with hydrocephalus, with a more external orientation being related to more behaviour problems. It is suggested that future researchers need to 1) focus on children's behaviour in context, 2) solicit data from a range of informants and 3) consider the complex transactions between biological and psychological factors to gain a fuller understanding of how hydrocephalus shapes children's development.