Children's attitudes toward interacting with peers with different craniofacial anomalies

J Reed, M Robathan, A Hockenhull, H Rostill, D Perrett, A Lees

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study was designed to evaluate children's understanding of different craniofacial anomalies and their willingness to interact with children with such anomalies,

Design: This was a between-measures design in which children were randomly allocated to one of three groups. Each group viewed one of three pairs of computer-generated images (nondistinctive, cleft lip, or misshapen nose) of similar-aged children,

Setting: Participants were recruited from two city elementary schools and were interviewed at their schools.

Participants: A total of 100 children (aged 7 to 10 years) entered the study, and complete sets of data were obtained for each child, As the majority of the children were white (n = 92), the nonwhite children (n = 8) were excluded from the data analyses,

Main Outcome Measures: Participants were asked a number of questions to ascertain their thoughts about the image, and measures were then taken of each child's willingness to interact with the stimulus child.

Results: There were no significant differences between the three groups. Boys were significantly more willing to interact with the stimulus images than were girls, and there was a nonsignificant trend for girls to be more likely to spontaneously mention the craniofacial anomaly. Participants gave varied explanations for the condition's causation.

Conclusions: Boys and girls differed in their willingness to interact with unfamiliar peers with and without facial distinctions. Various explanations were given to explain causality of the anomaly. Findings lend some support to the proposal that high "background attractiveness" can overshadow the impact of a craniofacial anomaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-447
Number of pages7
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1999


  • attitudes
  • children
  • craniofacial
  • social interaction


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