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Title:Caregivers of adults with closed head injury: A family systems perspective
Author(s):Addis, Susan Grgas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rounds, James
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:The main purpose of the study was to determine whether or not a family's adaptability and cohesion, as defined by family systems theory, could predict their level of adjustment to having an adult family member who had sustained a closed head injury. The subjects consisted of 32 parents/siblings and 17 spouses/significant others, ages 22 to 71 (M = 50), and of 18 female and 31 male head injured adults, who ranged in age from 18 to 77 (M = 33). The head injured family members were at least one year post injury. The maximum length of time since injury was 20 years (M = 5 years). The family members were interviewed using the Head Injury Family Interview (HIFI). They were asked to fill out Diener's Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) and Bradburn's Affect Balance Scale (ABS), the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale III (FACES-III), and the psychosocial scales of the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) as they perceived their head injured family member. The head injured family member was asked to fill out the same scales of the SIP as it related to them. Chi-square analysis yielded significant differences between the experimental group and the norms from FACES-III, relative to being classified as disengaged on the cohesion continuum (p $<$.05). Significant differences were found using t-tests between caregivers of people with major psychosocial deficits and people with moderate or minor psychosocial deficits, as assessed by the SIP, and between parents/siblings and spouses/significant others, relative to their scores on the ABS (p $<$.05). FACES-III was not found to be a viable predictor of adjustment for caregivers of adult persons with head injury. It may be that caregivers of adults with head injury use different coping strategies than the normal population. In this study, parents/siblings appeared to function significantly better than spouses/significant others. Biological family members may be better able to cope with an adult family member with a head injury than someone in a relationship with that person. Psychosocial factors of the head injured family member play a key role in the level of adjustment of caregivers.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Addis, Susan Grgas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512277
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512277

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