Self-concept and academic achievement in children with chronic kidney disease.

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DOI: 10.1007/s00467-023-06106-6


Background: Within the pediatric population, a positive self-concept is associated with better academic achievement. Children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at risk for lower quality of life and academic underachievement. Little is known about self-concept among children with CKD and how self-concept influences academic achievement. The objectives of the present study were to (1) describe patient-reported self-concept among children with CKD and (2) evaluate the relationship between self-concept and academic performance.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 23 children, aged 6-16 years, with mild to moderate CKD (cause of disease due to congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract) and 26 age-matched comparators. Participants completed the Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-4). Linear regression models were used to evaluate self-concept as a predictor of academic achievement in the CKD cohort.

Results: Self-concept ratings were comparable between children with CKD and non-CKD comparators; however, academic achievement trended lower for the CKD patients on measures of arithmetic (estimate = - 0.278, 95% confidence interval (CI) [- 0.530: - 0.026], t(45) = - 1.99, p = 0.053). All of the SDQ domains predicted WRAT-4 arithmetic performance, such that higher scores on the SDQ were associated with higher scores in mathematics. Kidney function did not have an effect on the relationship between self-concept and academic achievement.

Conclusions: Despite the presence of a chronic disease, children with CKD endorse a positive self-concept. Positive self-concept may predict academic success in this population.

Journal Title

Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany)





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Child; Academic Success; Quality of Life; Cross-Sectional Studies; Educational Status; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic


Academic achievement; Chronic kidney disease; Self-concept

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