Rapid advances in medicine and technology have meant more medically invasive procedures as well as the survival of more individuals who are more immanently faced with death. Ventilator-dependent children (due to sleep apnea, neuromuscular disease, and acute physical injury) make up one such group of individuals. The current study assessed a group of home-based, ventilator-dependent children for symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress. It was found that there was a negative correlation between the child's level of depression and the amount of time per day that the child was on the ventilator. There was also a negative correlation with the level of posttraumatic stress and the percentage of life that the child had been on the ventilator and a negative correlation with the level of depression and the percentage of life that the child was on the ventilator. There was a positive correlation with the primary caregivers amount of stress and levels of both depression and posttraumatic stress in the child. It was also found that a significant percentage of the subjects were ventilator dependent with sleep apnea and were extremely obese. This study demonstrates the need to address issues related to child emotional adjustment, parental stress levels, and childhood obesity in ventilator dependent children.

LLU Discipline

Experimental Psychology




Graduate School

First Advisor

Kiti Freier

Second Advisor

John Briere

Third Advisor

Matt Riggs

Fourth Advisor

Daved van Stralen

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Ventilators; Mechanical; Disabled Children -- rehabilitation; Medical Laboratory Science; Parents -- psychology; Family -- psychology; Social Support; Depression; Stress, Psychological -- psychology; Caregivers -- psychology



Page Count

viii; 78

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives