Self-concept before and after two years of growth hormone treatment in intrauterine growth-retarded children

Horm Res. 1996;46(2):88-94. doi: 10.1159/000317370.


The objective of this study was to assess self-concept in children with short stature after intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), before and after 2 years of growth hormone (hGH) treatment. We assessed 25 children before treatment, and 40 children after a 2-year treatment period. Seventeen of the 25 children of whom we had pretreatment data, were reassessed after 2 years of hGH treatment. All children had a birth length below the 3rd percentile, and did not show catch-up growth (current height < P3). We compared the self-concept measures (Self-Perception Profile for Children; SPPC) of the IUGR group with similar measures of a Dutch school sample. Four of the six SPPC mean scale scores of the IUGR group prior to treatment were significantly lower than mean scores of the school sample. Mean-scale scores of the group children, assessed after 2 years of hGH treatment, did not differ significantly from those of the school sample. In the group of 17 children who were assessed before as well as after 2 years of treatment, the mean scale scores of 'social acceptance' and 'general self-worth' were significantly higher at the second assessment (t = -5.93, p < 0.001 and t = -4.36, p < 0.001, respectively). From the present study we can hypothesize that short stature after IUGR and a low self-concept are related.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / drug therapy
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / psychology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Human Growth Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept*
  • Time Factors


  • Human Growth Hormone