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Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2017 Dec;27(8):1103-1123. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2015.1114499. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

A biopsychosocial investigation of changes in self-concept on the Head Injury Semantic Differential Scale.

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a School of Applied Psychology and Menzies Health Institute Queensland , Griffith University , Mt Gravatt , Australia.


This study aimed to investigate the influence of the "good-old-days" bias, neuropsychological functioning and cued recall of life events on self-concept change. Forty seven adults with TBI (70% male, 1-5 years post-injury) and 47 matched controls rated their past and present self-concept on the Head Injury Semantic Differential Scale (HISD) III. TBI participants also completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. The matched control group of 47 were from a sample of 78 uninjured participants who were randomised to complete either the Social Readjustment Rating Scale-Revised (cued recall) or HISD (non-cued recall) first. Consistent with the good-old-days bias, participants with TBI rated their pre-injury self-concept as more positive than their present self-concept and the present self-concept of controls (p < .05). More positive pre-injury self-concept ratings were related to lower estimated premorbid IQ and poorer verbal fluency and delayed memory (p < .05). For uninjured participants, cued recall, life events and event appraisals each accounted for unique variance in self-concept change (p < .01) after controlling for negative affect. The cued recall group rated their past self-concept as significantly more negative than the non-cued group (p < .01). Overall, the good-old-days bias, neuropsychological functioning and cued recall influenced reports of self-concept change by affecting retrospective ratings of past self-concept. Further research is needed to investigate the impact of contextual cues on self-concept change after TBI.


Neuropsychological functioning; Self-concept; Traumatic brain injury

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