Hospitalization stress in children: sensitizer and repressor coping styles.

T. Field, B. Alpert, N. Vega-Lahr, S. Goldstein, S. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


To examine the effects of individual sensitizer/repressor coping styles on responses to hospital procedures, 56 children (mean age = 6.5 years) were observed during hospitalization for minor surgery. Although the sensitizer children, as classified by their mothers, did not differ from the repressor children on baseline measures including hospital preparation, they were more talkative, expressive, and active during hospital play observations. During blood tests and preoperative injections, the sensitizers, compared with the repressors, were reported by their mothers to observe the procedures, to seek additional information about the procedures, and to show more protest behaviors. Finally, the sensitizer children required fewer hours of intensive care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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