A new study has helped to determine the psychosocial effects of cleft lip and/or palate among children and young adults, finding teasing to be a predictor of behavioral problems. This study is published in the latest issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal.
The study included 160 children and young adults with cleft lip and/or palate and an additional 113 with no clefting. Anxiety, self-esteem, depression, behavioral problems, unhappiness with facial appearance, and social functioning—including experience with teasing and bullying and satisfaction with speech—were evaluated.
Individuals with cleft lip and/or palate reported greater symptoms in all areas except anxiety and self-esteem. Having been teased was related to poor psychological functioning, more so than having a cleft lip and/or palate. Psychological assessment should be given to children and young adults with cleft problems, specifically focusing on their experience of teasing, the researchers said.