A model was tested to assess children's preoperative coping with major orthopedic surgery and how coping is related to two different postoperative outcomes, anxiety and return to normal activities. Ninety children, ages 8 to 17, participated. Data were collected the day before surgery, the second postoperative day, and at 3-, 6-, and 9-month recovery periods. A respecified model was not significantly different from the data (p = .90), indicating a good fit. Children who were older, more anxious, and more internal in locus of control exhibited more vigilant coping. Avoidant coping was associated with less anxiety 2 days postoperatively, and vigilant coping was associated with return to normal activities over the course of recovery.
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