The Association Between Traumatic Brain Injury, Behavioural Factors and Facial Emotion Recognition Skills in Delinquent Youth
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Objectives: To examine the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) in delinquent youth and facial emotion recognition (FER) abilities, offending, behavioural difficulties, aggression, empathic sadness and parenting. Participants & Setting: Forty-eight delinquent youth, aged 14 to 19 years, recruited from Youth Offending Teams and Targeted Youth Support. Main Measures: A cross sectional case-control design compared individuals in a TBI versus a non-TBI group on a forced-choice, FER paradigm assessing recognition accuracy to six basic emotions. Self-reported measures of TBI, behavioural difficulties, experience of parenting, reactive and proactive aggression, and empathic sadness. Results: History of TBI was reported by 68.7% of the sample, with 94% including a loss of consciousness. No significant differences were found between TBI and non-TBI groups on FER accuracy. Participants in the TBI group self-reported significantly higher proactive and reactive aggression and lower levels of parental supervision as compared to the non-TBI group. Tendency to incorrectly give ‘anger’ as a response on the FER task was strongly positively associated with proactive and reactive aggression. Conclusions: Future research requires larger samples recruited across settings to further investigate the association between FER abilities and TBI in this population. Findings highlight the need for TBI to be appropriately assessed and managed in delinquent youth, and highlights important aggression differences.
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology