Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Academic achievement, attendance, and school-related quality of life in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

OBJECTIVE: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its treatment have the potential to disrupt school functioning. Some research suggests that youth with IBD may have increased absences, but little is known about other areas of school functioning or related factors. This study examined school functioning (absences, achievement, grade retention, special education, and school-related quality of life) in adolescents with IBD compared with healthy adolescents and investigated demographic, disease, and psychosocial variables as predictors.

METHODS: Participants were 92 adolescents 11 to 17 years (50 with IBD and 42 healthy) and parents who completed questionnaires assessing psychosocial and school functioning. Report cards and school absence information were obtained from schools.

RESULTS: Youth with IBD had poorer school functioning in all areas, although only absences were significantly different between groups. Among those with IBD, internalizing problems predicted absences, income and externalizing problems predicted grade point average, and parent marital status and somatic complaints predicted school quality of life. Disease factors, including but not limited disease activity, were not significant predictors.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with IBD are at risk for school difficulty, and demographic and psychosocial factors are better predictors than disease factors. Interventions aimed at improving behavioral/emotional problems may improve school functioning.

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