An Exploratory Assessment of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Anger Management Intervention for Children with Acquired Brain Injuries

Miss Elizabeth Beadle (). An Exploratory Assessment of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Anger Management Intervention for Children with Acquired Brain Injuries Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Miss Elizabeth Beadle
Thesis Title An Exploratory Assessment of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Anger Management Intervention for Children with Acquired Brain Injuries
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Justin Kenardy
Signy Wegener
Total pages 171
Total black and white pages 171
Abstract/Summary Anger problems after paediatric Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) are well documented. Anger and its associated aggressive behavioural consequences are known to have negative effects on the child’s developmental trajectory, often leading to delinquency, academic failure, and conduct problems in their adolescence and adulthood. Unfortunately, there are large costs of untreated anger episodes to the child, the child’s caregivers, and to the community at large. Despite the need for intervention, there are few studies investigating the most effective way to manage anger within the paediatric ABI population. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effectiveness of an anger management intervention in a paediatric ABI population. Chapter 1 includes a literature review of paediatric brain injury and emotion regulation. Specifically, the prevalence and social and emotional consequences of ABI in children is discussed. Possible explanations for the occurrence of such emotion regulation difficulties will be explored, with a focus on the physiology of anger and the link to brain injuries. Factors that been linked to outcomes after ABI will also be discussed, including neurological, cognitive, psychological, social, and family variables. Given that the majority of methodologically sound research is in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) there will be a particular focus on this population. Chapter 2 leads a critique on current anger interventions after ABI. Various anger management interventions will be explored, along with recommendations from this intervention research into how an effective program may work with an ABI population. A program was chosen to be used with children with ABI from this critique: Tony Attwood’s “Exploring Feelings: CBT for Anger” (Attwood, 2004). Chapter 3 explores the aims and research questions of this pilot study. The main research question was whether a cognitive-behavioural group anger management intervention could be effective in children with ABIs. The secondary aim was to identify which population this program may be best targeted at in the future. Additional factors related to ABI were explored to see if they influenced the outcome of the program. Chapter 4 is devoted to the method section, including the participants, measures, and procedures involved. Specifically, the program utilised is highly structured and includes six sessions, each of two hours duration. Sessions focus on teaching new skills to encourage the cognitive control of emotions. Seven children, aged 10 to 14, were included in the analysis of the program’s outcome. Chapter 5 examines the results of the intervention. It specifically focuses on the program outcomes, in terms of parent and child self report of anger. It was found that while the program did not seem to reduce child anger, it appeared to change the way in which the child displayed their anger. Specifically, the children were more likely to control their anger after the intervention rather than display their anger outwardly. This effect was maintained at 12 week follow up. Chapter 6 presents three illustrative case studies of children who the program was either effective for or produced variable outcomes. It involves a discussion of factors that might have influenced the program’s outcomes, including social, psychological, and parent variables. Finally, Chapter 7 is devoted to the discussion of the program outcomes. While there were several limitations noted within the design and methodology of the study, the program outcomes were promising. Further investigation of the CBT program should occur, incorporating more rigorous empirical evaluation.
Keyword Anger management
cognitive behavior therapy
Acquired brain injury
Additional Notes Pages 167 - 171 should be printed in landscape

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Created: Mon, 24 Oct 2011, 17:18:26 EST by Miss Elizabeth Beadle on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences