Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Although successful self-management of health care responsibilities is critical to meeting the developmental demands associated with the transition to adulthood in youth with spina bifida (SB), research on individual factors impacting self-management in this population is sparse. Given the increased risk for cognitive deficits and development of depressive symptoms in this population, this study utilized a longitudinal, multi-method, multi-informant design to examine two pathways through which depressive symptoms and neuropsychological dysfunction may be associated with medical autonomy and adherence in youth with SB.

Bootstrapped mediation analyses revealed that teacher-reported depressive symptoms significantly mediated the respective relationships between attention and working memory, and medical responsibility (all p's < .05), but that neuropsychological dysfunction did not mediate the relationship between depressive symptoms and medical responsibility. It is hoped that this research will inform the development of evidence-based interventions aimed at improving and fostering the development of self-management in youth with SB.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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