Some studies of children with growth deficiency have found elevated rates of behavioral and emotional problems, whereas other studies have not. The differences in findings might reflect differences in the settings where children were evaluated, differences in the etiologies of growth deficiency, differences in informants, or differences in assessment instruments. To address these variations, Steinhausen et al. (2001) obtained CBCL/4-18 and YSR ratings of German children evaluated at 68 centers for growth deficiency having different etiologies. Compared to German norms, the growth deficient children obtained significantly elevated scores on all CBCL/4-18 and YSR problem scales.
These findings did not differ significantly in relation to the diagnosed etiology of growth deficiency, age, gender, socioeconomic status, nor the degree of deficiency in either growth or growth hormone. Steinhausen et al. concluded that “the adjustment problems of short-statured children function more in a categorical way rather than in a dose-related way” (p. 427). In addition, they concluded that “The scores across the eight primary scales of the CBCL and YSR are also surprisingly similar with a peak for social problems in both questionnaires,” but that “it is imperative to use both sources of information to get a full picture of behavioral adjustment in children with short stature” (p. 427).
Reference: Steinhausen, H-C., Dorr, H.G., Kannenberg, R., & Malin, Z. (2001). The behavior profile of children and adolescents with short stature. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 21, 423-428.