Date of Award

Summer 7-11-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Robin D. Morris

Second Advisor

Lindsey L. Cohen

Third Advisor

Kim L. Huhman

Fourth Advisor

Dawn L. Ilardi

Abstract

There is a robust body of research regarding outcomes following pediatric acquired brain injury (ABI). However, these studies generally explore medium-term outcomes (i.e., 3 to 12-months postinjury), whereas functioning during acute stages following ABI is poorly understood. In particular, there is limited knowledge regarding caregiver functioning during a child’s hospitalization immediately after ABI. This study sought to identify and model caregiver and child predictors of ‘caregiver confidence’ in caring for their hospitalized child. Caregivers of 45 children with diverse types of new-onset acquired brain injuries completed self-report measures of their own psychological functioning, stress, and confidence levels, as well as their perceptions of their child’s stress and coping. Results showed that caregiver psychological functioning was negatively associated with caregiver confidence, and caregiver perceptions of child coping were positively associated with caregiver confidence. Child functional status did not serve as a significant mediator in this relationship as per the hypothesized model.

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