Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Psychology

College

College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree

Psy.D.

Document Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Steven Mewaldt

Second Advisor

Massimo Bardi

Third Advisor

Steven Dreyer

Abstract

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects nearly 1.4 million people in the United States annually, and of these, 10% to 77% will experience post-injury depression. Psychosocial variables such as previous substance and alcohol abuse, prior mental illness, low educational attainment, and poverty have been identified as possible risk factors. Additionally, the location of injury appears to play a key role particularly if the injury occurs in the left hemisphere. This study examined archival data from brain-injured patients in an effort to better understand the factors related to post-TBI depression. Past medical records of brain-injured adults (N = 52) were reviewed and coded for location of injury, demographic and psychosocial variables, as well as the presence of depression. Results did not reveal significant relationships between past substance or alcohol abuse, prior mental illness, or level of education and post-TBI depression. In addition, there was no significant relationship between location of injury and post-TBI depression; however, results highlighted a possible trend toward left-sided lesions and depression. Further research is needed to shed light on the complexity of affective sequelae following TBI.

Subject(s)

Brain damage.

Brain damage -- Psychological aspects.