Objective Adolescents sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI) show increased prevalence of behavior problems. This study investigated the associations of parent mental health, family functioning, and parent-adolescent interaction with adolescent externalizing behavior problems in the initial months after TBI, and examined whether injury severity moderated these associations. Methods 117 parent-adolescent dyads completed measures of family functioning, adolescent behavior, and parent mental health an average of 108 days post-TBI. Dyads also engaged in a 10-min video-recorded problem-solving activity coded for parent behavior and tone of interaction. Results Overall, higher ratings of effective parent communication were associated with fewer externalizing behavior problems, whereas poorer caregiver psychological functioning was associated with greater adolescent externalizing behaviors. Results failed to reveal moderating effects of TBI severity on the relationship between socio-environmental factors and behavior problems. Conclusions Interventions targeting parent communication and/or improving caregiver psychological health may ameliorate potential externalizing behavior problems after adolescent TBI.
- externalizing behavior problems
- parent-adolescent interaction
- protective factors
- traumatic brain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology