Self-regulation as a mediator of the effects of childhood traumatic brain injury on social and behavioral functioning

Kalaichelvi Ganesalingam*, Ann Sanson, Vicki Anderson, Keith Owen Yeates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This study builds on our earlier investigation (see Ganesalingam et al., 2006). We showed previously that children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) had poorer self-regulation and social and behavioral functioning than their uninjured peers and that self-regulation predicted significant variance in parent- and teacher-rated social and behavioral outcomes, regardless of the presence or absence of TBI. In this study, we examine self-regulation as a mediator of the relationship between TBI and the outcomes. Participants included 65 children with moderate to severe TBI and 65 children without TBI matched for age and gender. Participants were between 6 and 11 years of age. Children completed an assessment of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral self-regulation, and social and behavioral functioning. Mediation was assessed using a bootstrapping approach (a relatively novel statistical method for assessing specific indirect effects in models with multiple mediators). Analyses indicated that, after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), aspects of self-regulation accounted for individual variation in the outcomes, and acted as a significant mediator of the effects of TBI on the outcomes. Self-regulatory deficits may reflect the relative vulnerability of the prefrontal cortex to TBI and may help account for post-injury difficulties in social and behavioral functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-311
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Multiple mediators
  • Self-regulation
  • Social and behavioral functioning
  • Specific indirect effects
  • Traumatic brain injury

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