Chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents: do parental expectations of their child's intellectual ability match the child's ability?

J Psychosom Res. 2009 Aug;67(2):165-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2009.02.004. Epub 2009 Apr 16.


Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed to measure the discrepancy between actual and perceived IQ in a sample of adolescents with CFS compared to healthy controls. We hypothesized that adolescents with CFS and their parent would have higher expectations of the adolescent's intellectual ability than healthy adolescents and their parent.

Methods: The sample was 28 CFS patients and 29 healthy controls aged 11-19 years and the parent of each participant. IQ was assessed using the AH4 group test of general intelligence and a self-rating scale which measured perceived IQ.

Results: Parents' perceptions of their children's IQ were significantly higher for individuals with CFS than healthy controls.

Conclusions: High expectations may need to be addressed within the context of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Parents*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult