Research Reports - Social problem-solving and social adjustment in paediatric traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2015 Sep 17:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Moran LM(1), Bigler E(2,)(3), Dennis M(4,)(5), Gerhardt CA(6,)(7), Rubin
KH(8,)(9), Stancin T(10,)(11), Taylor HG(10,)(12), Vannatta KA(6,)(7), Yeates
KO(13).

OBJECTIVE: Little is known regarding the predictors of social deficits that occur
following childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). The current study sought to
investigate social problem solving (SPS) and its relationship to social
adjustment after TBI.
METHODS: Participants included 8-13 year old children, 25 with severe TBI, 57
with complicated mild-to-moderate TBI and 61 with orthopaedic injuries (OI).
Children responded to scenarios involving negative social situations by selecting
from a fixed set of choices their causal attribution for the event, their
emotional reaction to the event and how they would behave in response. Parent
ratings of social behaviours and classmate friendship nominations and sociometric
ratings were obtained for a sub-set of all participants.
RESULTS: Children with severe TBI were less likely than children with OI to
indicate they would attribute external blame or respond by avoiding the
antagonist; they were more likely to indicate they would feel sad and request
adult intervention. Although several SPS variables had indirect effects on the
relationship between TBI and social adjustment, clinical significance was
limited.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that, while children with TBI display atypical
SPS skills, SPS cannot be used in isolation to accurately predict social
adjustment. 

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