Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Beebe-Frankenberger

Commitee Members

Anisa Goforth, Stuart Hall, Tom Seekins, Catherine Off


University of Montana


Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health concern in the United States. The least studied populations are those at the highest risk to sustain a TBI, specifically, youth, and especially those living in rural areas. Despite the documented negative impact on social outcomes and relative importance of social functioning in youth, research is sparse with regard to how various injury and non-injury factors interact to influence social outcomes and how best to assess this population for intervention planning and monitoring. Participants are four adolescents who have had TBIs of mild or moderate severity and their mothers (three mothers). A remotely administered assessment battery that may be facilitative for rural populations is used for direct assessment of cognitive and social functioning. Quantitative findings are integrated into qualitative analysis to explore the relationship between individual, geographic, injury, and therapeutic factors on social outcomes following pediatric TBI. Primary aims of this study include piloting a brief assessment battery that can be administered remotely, assessing resources being accessed and barriers to accessing services for rural adolescents, and understanding the social effects of TBI from the lived experiences of adolescents with TBIs and their families. Results suggest distance assessment is feasible, well accepted, and potentially useful. A model is developed to conceptualize social processes following pediatric TBI for rural youth. The model provides a framework for meeting the social needs of adolescents who have had a TBI through assessment and intervention that harnesses environmental resources, mobilizes facilitators of change, and reduces inhibitors of change.



© Copyright 2015 Brandon Jared Rennie