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Pediatric traumatic brain injury: investigating factors associated with problematic behaviors




Darnell, Holly, author
Sample, Pat L., advisor
Daunhauer, Lisa, committee member
Stallones, Lorann, committee member

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Children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are currently under-identified and under-served in the American school system. The present study investigated factors associated with problematic behaviors including gender, number of head injuries and reported symptoms. Parents of students in grade school (K-12) from three research groups (children with TBI, children with learning disabilities and typically developing children) rated their child's behaviors and symptoms, and provided an injury history using the Brain Check Survey. Contrary to current literature, in the present study boys were not found to have more severe behaviors than girls overall for the TBI group, but rather both genders were rated similarly on behaviors. Analysis between behaviors and number of injuries was not completed as the TBI sample lacked variability in the number of injuries sustained per child. More severe symptoms were correlated with more severe behaviors overall for all three groups, with the TBI group demonstrating the strongest associations and more severely rated behaviors overall. Occupational therapists should consider that girls with a TBI may exhibit behaviors as severe as boys when evaluating children in order to ensure a proper diagnosis. Symptoms associated with behaviors being exhibited in children also should be evaluated and treated, as such interventions may result in improved behaviors.


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brain injury


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