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Preinjury family environment as a determinant of recovery from traumatic brain injuries in school-age children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 1997

KEITH OWEN YEATES
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, and Columbus Children's Hospital
H. GERRY TAYLOR
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
DENNIS DROTAR
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
SHARI L. WADE
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
SUSAN KLEIN
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
TERRY STANCIN
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and MetroHealth Medical Center
CHRISTOPHER SCHATSCHNEIDER
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX

Abstract

Previous studies of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) have emphasized injury-related variables rather than environmental factors as predictors of recovery. We addressed this concern using data collected during a prospective study of children with either TBI or orthopedic injuries (OI) and their families. Participants included 53 children with severe TBI, 56 with moderate TBI, and 80 with OI, all from 6 to 12 years of age at the time of injury. Measures of the preinjury family environment were collected shortly after the injury (baseline). Child cognitive and behavioral outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Individual growth curve analyses showed that measures of the preinjury family environment consistently predicted both the level of cognitive and behavioral functioning at 12 months postinjury and the rate of intraindividual change during the 12-month follow-up period, even after taking into account group membership and injury severity. In some cases, the preinjury family environment was a significant moderator of the effect of TBI, buffering its impact in high-functioning families and exacerbating it in low-functioning families. Thus, preinjury environmental factors predict recovery following TBI in children, even after accounting for injury-related variables. (JINS, 1997, 3, 617–630.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1997 The International Neuropsychological Society

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