Supplementary Material for: When Do Short Children Realize They Are Short? Prepubertal Short Children’s Perception of Height during 24 Months of Catch-Up Growth Hormone Treatment

Aim: To examine perceived height during the first 24 months of growth hormone (GH) treatment in short prepubertal children. Methods: Ninety-nine 3- to 11-year-old short prepubertal children with either isolated GH deficiency (n = 32) or idiopathic short stature (n = 67) participated in a 24-month randomized trial of individualized or fixed-dose GH treatment. Children’s and parents’ responses to three perceived height measures: relative height (Silhouette Apperception Test), sense of height (VAS short/tall), and judgment of appropriate height (yes/no) were compared to measured height. Results: Children and parents overestimated height at start (72%, 54%) and at 24 months (52%, 30%). Short children described themselves as tall until 8.2 years (girls) and 9 years (boys). Prior to treatment, 38% of children described their height as appropriate and at 3 months, 63%. Mother’s height, parental sense of the child’s tallness and age explained more variance in children’s sense of tallness (34%) than measured height (0%). Conclusion: Short children and parents overestimate height; a pivotal age exists for comparative height judgments. Even a small gain in height may be enough for the child to feel an appropriate age-related height has been reached and to no longer feel short.