With the advancement of medical procedures, heart transplantation has become a viable alternative for infants born with congenital or acquired heart disease. Although these children are thought to experience much improvement in their overall physical functioning post-transplantation, the long-term psychological functioning of these children and their families is currently unknown. This study examines the long-term family functioning and psychosocial development of infant heart transplant recipients in comparison to children with congenital heart disease (CHD) and non-clinical control children. Results indicate that infant heart transplant recipients and their families experience fewer overall problems as compared to the CHD group, and more closely resemble the non-clinical control group. This finding partially contradicts earlier theoretical and empirical research conducted with similar populations. Possible explanations for these results include self-selection bias, defensive responding in the heart transplant group, and methodological issues. It is also possible that after seven years children and families undergoing the transplant procedure have adjusted to the complications inherent in this type of medical procedure. Future research should focus on more direct methods of data collection and should further evaluate the role of depression, developmental stage, and transplant related variables within these children.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Heart Transplantation -- in infancy & childhood -- psychology; Psychology, Clinical; Family Relations -- psychology; Psychology, Social.
Loma Linda University Libraries
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.
Freeman, Kimberly R., "Family and Child Psychosocial Functioning of Infant Heart Transplant Recipients" (1999). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1484.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives