Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Stephanie H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Barbara A Golden, PsyD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Victoria L Vetter, M.D, EP


Long QT syndrome is a chronic disorder, and one of the most common genetic arrhythmia syndromes that can cause unexpected cardiac arrest and death in individuals. Treatment options include medications, use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and restricting activities of daily life. Minimal research exists exploring the specific psychosocial aspects of the illness and/or the impact on the quality of life of individuals and families coping with the management and diagnosis of this illness. Furthermore, little research has attempted to understand the role of gender differences and mother-child perceptions among individuals with Long QT syndrome. The current study used data from a larger study in an effort to specifically examine overall gender differences in QOL, as well as perception differences between mother-son and mother-daughter perceptions of QOL. The study predicted that mothers and sons would have less matched perception with regard to QOL domains, while mothers and daughters would be more aligned. The study also predicted that female children would have a higher self-reported QOL than male children. Results found that there was greater cross-informant variance for sons and mothers on the treatment anxiety sub-scale but not statistically significant findings for overall cross-informant variance. There were no statistically significant findings for gender differences overall, but results suggested that women were indicating a lower QOL than males. Results also found that emotional functioning was identified as lower than the other sub-scales, and lower than in healthy individuals, indicating the emotional needs of those with Long QT syndrome may be compromised. Further research addressing the psychosocial needs of children and families with Long QT syndrome is necessary.