Cognitive Functioning, Coping, and Emotional Distress in Children with Sickle Cell Disease
Prussien, Kemar Vanina
Sickle cell disease is a chronic lifelong illness that affects 1 in 400 to 500 African Americans in the United States. In addition to being at increased risk for cognitive deficits, children with sickle cell disease may also be at greater risk for emotional distress. The current study investigates the relationship between cognitive functioning, coping, and emotional distress in children and adolescents with SCD. Forty-seven children with sickle cell disease completed cognitive assessments assessing working memory and verbal comprehension, and their parents completed questionnaires that reported on child coping and emotional distress. Results showed that verbal comprehension was significantly associated with secondary control coping. Both working memory and secondary control coping were associated with depressive symptoms. Further analyses showed that verbal comprehension had an indirect association with depressive symptoms through secondary control coping, whereas working memory only had a direct association with depressive symptoms. The implication of these findings are discussed.