Etiology and psychosocial functioning in children with epilepsy
Objective. This study aims to explore the role of etiology of seizure activity and its relation to psychosocial functioning among children with epilepsy by utilizing the Syndrome scales of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Study design. By examining seizure-related variables (i.e., number of anti-epileptic medications, age of seizure onset, type of epilepsy, hemispheric focus), IQ, and seizure etiology, data was analyzed by means of frequency analysis, point-biserial correlation, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Participants. 31 youngsters, between the ages of 4 and 17, with a diagnosis of epilepsy. Results. As compared to healthy, same-age peers in the CBCL standardization sample, children in the current sample, as a whole, demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of psychosocial difficulties and behavior problems across ten of the eleven scales examined. Within the sample, children with lower IQ scores evidenced more psychosocial difficulties. Furthermore, boys in the sample demonstrated significantly more social problems, in particular, as compared to girls. Etiology of seizure activity was not found to be associated with psychosocial functioning in the current sample. Conclusions. The current results corroborate with much of the epilepsy literature suggesting that youths in this population are significantly at risk for demonstrating psychopathology and problematic behavior. Findings reflect the pervasiveness of psychosocial difficulties that youngsters within this often stigmatized population endure. Implications for the field of Child School-Clinical Psychology include the importance of early intervention and remediation opportunities for all children and adolescence within the epilepsy population, regardless of seizure etiology.