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Rejection Sensitivity as a Moderator of Psychosocial Outcomes Following Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2017

Emily A. Meadows
Affiliation:
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Keith Owen Yeates
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Kenneth H. Rubin
Affiliation:
Department of Human Development & Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
H. Gerry Taylor
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Erin D. Bigler
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Science and Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Maureen Dennis
Affiliation:
Program in Neuroscience and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Cynthia A. Gerhardt
Affiliation:
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Kathryn Vannatta
Affiliation:
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Terry Stancin
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Kristen R. Hoskinson*
Affiliation:
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Kristen R. Hoskinson, Center for Biobehavioral Health, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH 43205. E-mail: kristen.hoskinson@nationwidechildrens.org

Abstract

Objectives: The current study examines whether psychosocial outcomes following pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) vary as a function of children’s rejection sensitivity (RS), defined as their disposition to be hypersensitive to cues of rejection from peers. Methods: Children ages 8–13 with a history of severe TBI (STBI, n=16), complicated mild/moderate TBI (n=35), or orthopedic injury (OI, n=49) completed measures assessing self-esteem and RS on average 3.28 years post-injury (SD=1.33, range=1.25–6.34). Parents reported on their child’s emotional and behavioral functioning and social participation. Results: Regression analyses found moderation of group differences by RS for three outcomes: social participation, self-perceptions of social acceptance, and externalizing behavior problems. Conditional effects at varying levels of RS indicated that externalizing problems and social participation were significantly worse for children with STBI at high levels of RS, compared to children with OI. Social participation for the STBI group remained significantly lower than the OI group at mean levels of RS, but not at low levels of RS. At high levels of RS, self-perceptions of social acceptance were lower for children with moderate TBI compared to OI, but group differences were not significant at mean or low levels of RS. No evidence of moderation was found for global self-worth, self-perceptions of physical appearance or athletic ability, or internalizing problems. Conclusions: The findings highlight the salient nature of social outcomes in the context of varying levels of RS. These findings may have implications for the design of interventions to improve social outcomes following TBI. (JINS, 2017, 23, 451–459)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2017 

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