To examine changes in parent-adolescent interactions after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their relationship to parent and adolescent adjustment.
Concurrent cohort, cross-sectional study. Analysis of variance was used to examine group differences and regression analysis to assess associations between interactional measures and concurrent adjustment.
Four hospitals in north-central Ohio.
Adolescents with severe TBI (25), moderate TBI (22), and orthopedic injuries (35) and their parents.
Main outcome measures:
Observer ratings of parent-adolescent interactions, Conflict Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), Family Burden of Injury Interview (FBII), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Family Assessment Device (FAD), Child Behavior Checklist, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and Children's Depression Inventory.
No group differences were found on ratings of parent-adolescent interaction or the parent or child CBQ. However, observed criticism/coldness and self-rated conflict had stronger associations with the FBII, BSI, and FAD in the severe TBI group than in the orthopedic injury group, suggesting that conflict is more disruptive after TBI. Ratings of criticism/coldness and parent and adolescent CBQ scores were also associated with parent and adolescent adjustment.
Results support the utility of observational measures in assessing dyadic interactions after TBI.