Research Reports - Maternal warm responsiveness and negativity following traumatic brain injury in young children

Rehabil Psychol. 2013 Aug;58(3):223-32

Fairbanks JM, Brown TM, Cassedy A, Taylor HG, Yeates KO, Wade SL

Purpose/Objective: To understand how traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects
maternal warm responsiveness and negativity over the first 12 months following
injury. Method/Design: We used a concurrent cohort research design to examine
dyadic interactions in young children with a TBI (n = 78) and a comparison group
of young children with orthopedic injuries (OI; n = 112) and their families
during the initial weeks following injury (i.e., baseline) and at two follow-up
periods (approximately 6 and 12 months later). Trained raters coded videotaped
interactions during a free play and structured teaching task for maternal warm
responsiveness and negativity. Results: Mothers in the complicated mild/moderate
TBI group, but not those in the severe TBI group, exhibited significantly lower
levels of maternal warm responsiveness than mothers in the OI group. However,
these differences were observed only at baseline during free play and only at
baseline and 6 months postinjury during the structured teaching task, suggesting
diminishing adverse effects of complicated mild/moderate TBI on parenting over
time postinjury. Analysis failed to reveal group differences in maternal
negativity at any of the assessments. Across groups, lower socioeconomic status
(SES) was associated with lower levels of warm responsiveness and higher levels
of negativity. Conclusions/Implications: These findings, though preliminary,
indicate possible alterations in mother-child interactions in the months
following a TBI.

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