Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Jeffrey Schatz


Youth with sickle cell disease (SCD) are at an elevated risk for having internalizing symptoms. Prior studies have suggested unique age by gender patterns of internalizing symptoms may be present in this population, however this pattern has not been thoroughly examined and the mechanisms underlying this pattern are not known. We examined rates of depression and anxiety symptoms between males and females with SCD across childhood and into adolescence in a cross-sectional design. We also considered the potential role of coping styles and health related locus of control for SCD morbidity that could account for age or gender patterns for internalizing symptoms. Fifty-two children and adolescents with SCD and their caregivers reported on background information, measures of coping with sickle cell pain, and depression and anxiety symptoms. There was a statistically significant interaction of age and gender in predicting anxiety symptoms, with anxiety symptoms decreasing with older age among females and increasing with older age among males. However, there was no significant coping or locus of control moderation evident for age and gender effects. Further investigation of these moderation effects are needed however, due to the cross-sectional nature of this study