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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO2301

Associations Between Short Stature, Emotional-Behavioral Functioning, and Adaptive Skills in Children with CKD

Session Information

Category: Pediatric Nephrology

  • 1700 Pediatric Nephrology


  • Johnson, Rebecca J., Children's Mercy Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • Harshman, Lyndsay, The University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa, United States
  • Matheson, Matthew, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Gerson, Arlene C., Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Warady, Bradley A., Children's Mercy Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • Furth, Susan L., The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Hooper, Stephen R., University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Short stature impacts quality of life (QOL) for children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Little is known about how short stature impacts emotional-behavioral functioning and adaptive skills in this group of children.


Baseline and longitudinal data from the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children study were used to evaluate associations between emotional-behavioral functioning, adaptive skills, and short stature (height z score <-2) in children with mild to moderate CKD ages 10+ years. Linear mixed models were used to determine if short stature predicted emotional-behavioral outcomes, using data from both the parent- and self-report BASC2 rating scales. Models were adjusted for sociodemographic and disease-related covariates.


Baseline parent-report data were available for 737 participants (61% male; median age 13 [IQR=11,16]; 32% glomerular CKD; median eGFR 52 ml/min|1.73m2 [IQR=39, 66]; 10% short stature; 8% growth hormone use). BASC2 self-report was available for 229 participants. For BASC2 parent-report, short stature was not associated with the summary scales of internalizing symptoms (e.g., anxiety, sad mood; β=1.46, CI=-0.51, 3.42; p=.15), adaptive skills (e.g., social skills, adaptability; β=-1.03, CI=-2.95, 0.89; p=29), or behavioral symptoms (e.g., hyperactivity, conduct problems; β=-0.02, CI=-1.63, 1.60; p=.98). Short stature was associated with the clinical subscale of somatization (child health complaints of pain, poor physical health, and illness; β=2.41, CI=0.31, 4.5; p=.02). There was a marginal, but nonsignificant, association with the depression subscale (β=1.73, CI=-0.09, 3.54; p=.06). Short stature was not related to any of the BASC2 self-report ratings.


For most measures of emotional-behavioral functioning and adaptive skills, short stature was not associated with an increase in parent- or self-reported internalizing or externalizing symptoms or adaptive skills. Short stature was associated with parent-reported, but not self-reported, somatization. The present findings offer some reassurance that while short stature may be related to poorer QOL and somatization, preliminary findings suggest that it is not associated with more significant psychopathology or concerns regarding adaptive skills.


  • NIDDK Support