Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Donald Masey, PhD

Third Advisor

Nina Hattiangadi Thomas, PhD


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common acquired neurological conditions in children and adolescents. A TBI sustained in childhood can lead to an increased likelihood of executive functioning (EF) problems with possible short-term and long-term effects. Research has suggested that problems in EF can also lead to longstanding impairments in social skills and behavioral regulation. This study examined the relationship between EF and social-emotional functioning in children with TBI based on parent report using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) domain and subdomain scores. Quantitative data was retrieved from the Approaches and Decision for Acute Pediatric TBI (ADAPT) multisite study. Participants included 253 children who experienced severe TBI. Parent-report measures include the BRIEF (executive functioning in daily life) and CBCL (emotional/behavioral adjustment). Z- tests and a multiple regression analysis was conducted. As expected, EF difficulties following TBI were common in this pediatric sample, as were emotional and behavioral concerns to a lesser extent. More specifically, inhibition and working memory were found to be the largest areas of deficit. Those with greater impairments in behavior regulation as measured by the BRIEF are likely to exhibit both internalizing and externalizing behaviors following a TBI. The results of this study provide an understanding of how children with TBI who exhibit difficulties in executive functioning also demonstrate impairments in problem solving and emotion regulation. This information provides guidance for treatment that promotes supporting social emotional concerns with a child that has experienced a TBI.

Included in

Psychology Commons