Environmental contributions to social and mental health outcomes following pediatric stroke

Mardee Greenham, Stephen S J C Hearps, Alison Maree Gomes, Nicole Joan Rinehart, Linda Gonzalez, Anne L Gordon, Mark T Mackay, Warren Lo, Keith Owen Yeates, Vicki Anne Anderson

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Mental health and social outcomes following acquired brain injury (ABI) in children are often considered to be due to brain insult, but other factors, such as environment, may also play a role. We assessed mental health and social function in children with chronic illness, with and without stroke (a form of ABI), and typically developing (TD) controls to examine environmental influences on these outcomes. We recruited 36 children diagnosed with stroke, 15 with chronic asthma, and 43 TD controls. Children and parents completed questionnaires rating child mental health and social function and distal and proximal environment. TD children had significantly less internalizing and social problems than stroke and asthma groups, and engaged in more social activities than children with stroke. Poorer parent mental health predicted more internalizing and social problems and lower social participation. Family dysfunction was associated with internalizing problems. Lower parent education contributed to children s social function. Children with chronic illness are at elevated risk of poorer mental health and social function. Addition of brain insult leads to poorer social participation. Quality of home environment contributes to children s outcomes, suggesting that supporting parent and family function provides an opportunity to optimize child mental health and social outcomes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348 - 362
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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