Research Reports - Adolescents' internalizing problems following traumatic brain injury are related to parents' psychiatric symptoms
J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 September/October;28(5)
Peterson RL, Kirkwood MW, Taylor HG, Stancin T, Brown TM, Wade SL
BACKGROUND:: A small body of previous research has demonstrated that pediatric
traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases risk for internalizing problems, but
findings have varied regarding their predictors and correlates.
METHODS:: We examined the level and correlates of internalizing symptoms in 130
teens who had sustained a complicated mild to severe TBI within the past 1 to 6
months. Internalizing problems were measured via both maternal- and
paternal-report Child Behavior Checklist. We also measured family functioning,
parent psychiatric symptoms, and postinjury teen neurocognitive function.
RESULTS:: Mean parental ratings of internalizing problems were within the normal
range. Depending on informant, 22% to 26% of the sample demonstrated clinically
elevated internalizing problems. In multiple and binary logistic regression
models, only parent psychiatric symptoms consistently provided unique prediction
of teen internalizing symptoms. For maternal but not paternal report, female
gender was associated with greater internalizing problems.
CONCLUSION:: Parent and teen emotional problems are associated following
adolescent TBI. Possible reasons for this relationship, including the effects of
TBI on the family unit, are discussed.