Genoveffa Morway The Social and Emotional Impact of Congenital Hand Differences on the Family
SchoolPadua Franciscan High School
MentorWilliam H. Seitz Jr., MD
DepartmentOrthopaedic Surgery at Lutheran Hospital
The Social and Emotional Impact of Congenital Hand Differences on the Family
The families of children with congenital hand differences will be challenged socially and emotionally. They will experience strained relationships with family and friends and have many difficult situations which will bring about emotions such as anxiety, fear and stress.
A questionnaire was administered to parents of children with hand differences in person, over the phone or via email. Questions pertained to areas such as relationships, emotions, surgeries and lifestyle.
The social and emotional effect on families with children with congenital hand differences was mixed. Most of the data seemed to show that the congenital difference did challenge the family, but it ended up being a source of positive emotions and traits. In many cases, relationships did struggle and sometimes even ended because of issues regarding the difference, but in other cases, relationships seem to improve because of it. For many of the issues, the answers went both ways, but for emotions and relationships, the congenital difference actually ended up strengthening relationships and people.