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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2001 Sep;7(6):755-67.

Bidirectional child-family influences on outcomes of traumatic brain injury in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Child behavior problems, injury-related family burden, and parent psychological distress were assessed longitudinally over the first year post injury in 40 children with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), 52 with moderate TBI, and 55 with orthopedic injuries not involving brain insult. Parents rated children's preinjury behavior soon after injury. Postinjury child behavior and family outcomes were assessed at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Findings from path analysis revealed both direct and indirect effects of TBI on child behavior and family outcomes, as well as cross-lagged child-family associations. Higher parent distress at 6 months predicted more child behavior problems at 12 months, controlling for earlier behavior problems; and more behavior problems at 6 months predicted poorer family outcomes at 12 months, controlling for earlier family outcomes. Support for bidirectional influences is tentative given that limited sample size precluded use of structural equation modeling. The findings nevertheless provide impetus for considering the influences of person-environment interactions on outcomes of TBI.

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