Social problem solving and community integration in adults with traumatic brain injury

2000 2000

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this study was to enhance understanding of the role that problem-solving ability plays in psychosocial adjustment following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This goal was addressed by uniting two previously distinct fields of inquiry: counseling psychology's literature on social problem solving and rehabilitation neuropsychology's literature on community integration in individuals with TBI.

A sample of adults with TBI and intact general intellectual ability ( n = 45) was assessed on measures of community integration (Community Integration Questionnaire), social problem-solving self-appraisal (Problem Solving Inventory), social problem-solving performance (Personal Problem-Solving System) and cognitive problem solving (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). As hypothesized, when compared to healthy controls, adults with TBI demonstrated poor social problem-solving ability as measured by both self-appraisal and performance methods. In addition, social problem-solving self-appraisal predicted a significant proportion of the variance (21%) in community integration in the TBI sample.

This study provides the first empirical support for the long-postulated relationship between social problem solving and real-life adjustment in individuals with TBI. The findings contribute to the knowledge base concerning barriers that interfere with a return to “normal life” for TBI survivors and may allow psychologists to make more accurate prognoses and more focused psychoeducational and rehabilitative interventions.

The utility of the self-report data is consistent with recent research which has indicated that self-report in individuals with TBI may be more meaningful than previously understood and therefore a potential source of valuable information. The current findings thus contribute to the empirical basis for the trend toward increased consideration of TBI survivors' self-report, especially in higher-level outpatient cognitive rehabilitation.

Given the empirical support obtained in this study for the relationship between social problem-solving self-appraisal and community integration, psychoeducational interventions designed to improve social problem-solving ability might be expected to positively impact the community integration levels of individuals with TBI. Empirical validation of the social problem-solving model as a framework for higher-level cognitive rehabilitation strategies, and the impact of such strategies on community integration levels, should be explored.

Indexing (details)

Cognitive therapy;
Problem solving;
Brain damage
0622: Psychotherapy
0382: Rehabilitation
0382: Therapy
0633: Cognitive therapy
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Psychology; Cognitive rehabilitation; Community integration; Social problem-solving; Traumatic brain injury
Social problem solving and community integration in adults with traumatic brain injury
Rath, Joseph Francis
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 61/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780599809505, 0599809507
Hennessy, James J.
Fordham University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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