The clinical courses of 60 children suffering from ulcerative Colitis (UC, n = 21) and Crohn's disease (CD, n = 39) were investigated over a period of 8.7 and 5.1 years respectively. At the time of diagnosis all UC-patients showed mucohemorrhagic feces. Relapses often occurred after emotional stress and in 81% of all patients during the winter season. Typical late complications were arthritis (6/21), osteoporosis (6/21), allergic diseases (8/21) and diabetes mellitus (2/21). However, the psychosomatic development appeared normal in at least 17/21 of these patients. Generally the courses in children with CD were more serious. Despite intensive therapy 15/39 children developed an intestinal stenosis which was followed by bowel resection in 11 of them. Further complications were fistulas (6/39), abscess-formations (4/39) and osteoporosis (12/39) due to steroid therapy. Only 12/39 showed a significant catch-up growth. Interviews and psychological tests revealed that CD-patients were introverted with strong connections to their families. Equally they longed for approval and social contact with their contemporaries.