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The Relationship between the Perception of Height and Self-Esteem in Children

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2004;47(3):258-263.
Published online March 15, 2004.
The Relationship between the Perception of Height and Self-Esteem in Children
Mi Jin Kim, Young Il Rho, Eun Seok Yang, Kyung Rye Moon, Sang Kee Park, Yeong Bong Park, Eun Young Kim
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea
소아의 키에 대한 인식과 우울 성향과의 관계
김미진, 노영일, 양은석, 문경래, 박상기, 박영봉, 김은영
조선대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Eun Young Kim, Email: sskey@mail.chosun.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: The aim of this study was to evaluate the behavioral and affective characteristics of children who thought they were short.
Methods
: Fifteen hundred and twenty-two students of four elementary and middle schools in Gwangju City completed a battery of questionnaires asking about stature-related stress, self-esteem, and personality characteristics. The children were divided into three groups and compared according to their answers : group I(who thought they were short, n=466), group II(who thought their heights were normal, n=802), and group III(who thought they were tall, n=254). The degree of depression was calculated using Korean Kovasc's Children's Depression Inventory.
Results
: Four hundred and sixty-six children(30%) thought they were short. Thirty-two percent of children in group I thought that they were short although their heights were above 50 percentile. Only two percent of children that thought themselves to be short answered that they compared their height with the standard value. Twenty-seven percent of children were not satisfied with their height. No statistically significant difference of depression score was found between males and females. There were statistically significant differences of the depression score according to age(P< 0.05). The average depression scores of the three groups were 15.7?.4, 13.6?.8, and 12.6?.3 respectively(P<0.05). In group I, no significant differences were found in depression score between the subgroups classified according to the standard height distribution. The depression score in the group of those dissatisfied with their height was significantly high(P<0.05).
Conclusion
: Correct perceptions of their height are needed for children's psychiatric healthcare. Continuous medical and psychological guidance is therefore recommended.
Key Words: Height, Perception, Depression


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