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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

Editor-in-Chief: Kiess, Wieland

Ed. by Bereket, Abdullah / Darendeliler, Feyza / Dattani, Mehul / Gustafsson, Jan / Luo, Fei Hong / Mericq, Veronica / Ogata, Tsutomu / Toppari, Jorma

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Volume 27, Issue 7-8


Differences in anxiety and depression between male and female caregivers of children with a disorder of sex development

Cortney Wolfe-Christensen / David A. Fedele
  • Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, PO Box 100165, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Larry L. Mullins / Yegappan Lakshmanan / Amy B. Wisniewski
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-05-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2014-0102


Purpose/Background: To examine whether male and female caregivers of children with a disorder of sex development (DSD) differ in levels of anxious and depressive symptoms.

Materials/Methods: Participants included 80 caregivers (40 males, 40 females) of 40 children with a DSD. Children were categorized based on illness characteristics including ambiguous genitalia, life-threatening, and life-threatening with ambiguous genitalia. Caregivers completed measures of anxious and depressive symptoms.

Results: A significant caregiver×diagnosis interaction for anxious symptoms emerged, with male caregivers of children with both ambiguous genitalia and a life-threatening condition reporting significantly lower levels of anxious symptoms than female caregivers of the same children.

Conclusions: The findings are surprising because of the low level of anxious symptoms reported by male caregivers of children with a complex DSD. It is possible that they have disengaged themselves from the child and/or diagnosis, causing their female counterparts to take on more responsibility.

Keywords: caregiver; disorder of sex development; psychosocial


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About the article

Corresponding author: Cortney Wolfe-Christensen, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Department of Pediatric Urology, 3901 Beaubien, Detroit, MI 48201, USA, Phone: +(313) 745-5588, Fax: +(313) 993-8738, E-mail:

Received: 2014-02-26

Accepted: 2014-04-01

Published Online: 2014-05-23

Published in Print: 2014-07-01

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume 27, Issue 7-8, Pages 617–621, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2014-0102.

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