University of Tasmania
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Acquired brain injury : social cognitive ability as a predictor of psychosocial functioning and the influence of sex

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:51 authored by George, MD
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is an extremely prevalent; 1 in 45 Australians have experienced one (AIHW, 2007). Impairments to social cognition are well documented in ABI literature (Adolphs, 2010; McDonald, 2013), and the consequences of such impairments have the potential to be devastating to psychosocial outcomes (Ubukata et al., 2014). Research suggests that males may be more vulnerable to these ABI-related social cognitive impairments than females. The current study aimed to investigate the interaction between sex and social cognition, and how predictive these factors are of psychosocial functioning following an ABI. The current study examined 39 ABI participants and 34 age and sex matched controls on a range of social cognitive and psychosocial functioning measures through self, informant and object reports. A series of 2 (male vs female) x 2 (ABI vs control) ANOVAs were conducted to compare social cognitive ability. The results revealed that males performed worse than females on all measures of social cognition in the ABI group. The effect of sex was significant for the IRI, and the ER SEQ informant scores revealed a trend towards this also. All three TASIT-S subscales revealed a significant interaction between presence of an ABI and sex. This supported the hypothesis that an ABI would negatively impact social cognition for males more than females. Six hierarchical regressions were conducted to determine the predictive value of social cognition for psychosocial functioning. For males (unlike females), the final regression model significantly predicted performance on all three SPRS subscales; a strong association. These findings suggest that for ABI males, social cognitive ability was impaired to the extent that it predicted psychosocial functioning. Results highlight the need for sex and social cognition to be considered in ABI research and interventions.


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Copyright 2017 the author

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