Pragmatic skills after childhood traumatic brain injury: Parents’ perspectives Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The purpose of this study was to characterize pragmatic deficits after childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) within the home environment social contexts where they occur. We used a descriptive qualitative approach to describe parents' experiences in communicating with their child with TBI. Participants were ten mothers of children ages 6-12 years who had sustained a moderate to severe TBI more than one year prior to the study. Mothers' experiences were collected through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Interviews were analyzed using a deductive framework to develop social contexts and pragmatic deficit themes for communication in the home. Overall, mothers primarily described their children with TBI as exhibiting average or near average pragmatic skills at home, but nine observed some pragmatic deficits and/or social behavior problems. There were four in-home social contexts in which pragmatic deficits were observed. Emergent themes also included outside-of-the home social contexts and social behavior problems. There was some overlap of pragmatic deficit and social behavior problem themes among contexts, but many deficits were context specific. This study's pragmatic deficit themes expanded on prior childhood TBI pragmatic investigations by identifying contexts in and outside of the home in which pragmatic deficits may occur after TBI. Learning Outcomes Readers will be able to describe the day-to-day social contexts that may be impacted by pragmatic deficits after childhood TBI. Readers will be able to compare the pragmatic deficit themes identified as occurring in the home to those occurring outside of the home.


  • Keck, Casey S
  • Creaghead, Nancy A
  • Turkstra, Lyn
  • Vaughn, Lisa M
  • Kelchner, Lisa N

publication date

  • September 2017