Adolescents with craniofacial conditions are vulnerable to specific psychosocial difficulties that are associated with dissatisfaction with their appearance and body image. Body image is a multidimensional construct, defined as an individual's perception and evaluation of physical appearance and bodily functioning. The cognitive-behavioral theoretical model of body image provides a useful framework for understanding the psychosocial functioning of persons with craniofacial conditions. Differences in body image may help explain the variation in psychosocial functioning observed in youth with craniofacial conditions. Because of its relationship to psychosocial functioning, body image may be a useful risk factor to target when developing interventions to prevent or improve psychosocial problems among youth with craniofacial conditions. To date, there are no empirically supported interventions to address the body image and psychosocial problems of youth with craniofacial conditions. This K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award will address these gaps in the literature by: 1) characterizing and evaluating body image in adolescents with and without craniofacial conditions; 2) examining psychosocial correlates of body image in adolescents with craniofacial conditions; and 3) developing and piloting a cognitive-behavioral body image and social skills intervention for adolescents with craniofacial conditions. The first proposed study is a cross-sectional investigation of body image and psychosocial functioning in 70 adolescents with craniofacial conditions and 35 non-affected adolescents. The second proposed study will entail development of a cognitive behavioral body image intervention for adolescents with craniofacial conditions and will utilize a within-subjects design to evaluate the impact of the intervention on body image and psychosocial functioning. This K23 Award will also provide the candidate with the training and mentoring that are necessary to her development as an independent researcher. The training plan outlined in this proposal will enable the candidate to 1) develop expertise in the medical and psychosocial aspects of craniofacial conditions; 2) obtain knowledge and skills related to intervention development and evaluation; and 3) acquire advanced training in research methodology and statistics which will increase the quality of her scientific output. The overall aim of these studies is to improve our understanding of risk and protective factors for psychosocial problems in youth with craniofacial conditions. These studies will also lay the foundation for the development of an empirically supported intervention designed to improve body image, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life in adolescents with craniofacial conditions.
The overall aim of these studies is to improve our understanding of risk and protective factors for psychosocialproblems in youth with craniofacial conditions. These investigations will also lay the foundation for thedevelopment of an empirically supported intervention designed to improve body image; psychosocialfunctioning; and quality of life in adolescents with craniofacial conditions.
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