Background: Children with acquired brain injury (ABI) present with high rates of psychological disorders commonly accompanied by deficits in hot and cold executive functions (EFs). Impairments in EFs have been reported to precede mental health problems. Moreover, children who are vulnerable to developing mental health problems in adulthood frequently present with a dysregulation profile in childhood, characterized by impairments in cognitive, behavioral and emotional regulation. Objective: To identify profiles of behaviors associated with impairment in hot and cold EFs and compare injury factors, environmental stressors and dysregulation profile between them. Methods: A latent profile analysis was conducted with 77 children with ABI aged between 6 and 12. Injury factors, child IQ, environmental stressors and the dysregulation profile were compared between these behavioral profiles. Logistic regressions were conducted to predict profile membership. Results: Two profiles were identified: Profile M, with mild deficits (1–2 SD above the mean) in working memory and social skills, and profile C, presenting clinically significant deficits (2–3 SD above the mean) in shift, initiate, working memory, planning and social skills and mild deficits in inhibit, emotional control and task monitor. Proximal environmental stressors (dysfunctional parenting practices, parental stress, parent’s executive dysfunction, anxiety-trait, and depressive symptoms) and dysregulation symptoms predicted profile membership, whereas injury factors, child IQ and distal environmental stressors did not. Conclusion: Following ABI, children with profile C are at risk of mental health problems and present with more proximal stressors. The dysregulation profile may be useful as a proxy for risk for later mental health problems in children with ABI.

Acquired brain injury, executive functions, dysregulation profile, mental health problems,
Child Neuropsychology

Chavez Arana, C.L., Catroppa, C., Yanez-Tellez, G., Prieto-Corona, B., De Leon, M., García, A, … Anderson, V.L. (2019). Parenting and the dysregulation profile predict executive functioning in children with acquired brain injury. Child Neuropsychology, 25(8), 1125–1143. doi:10.1080/09297049.2019.1589442