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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Personality and Executive Functioning in Male Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
by Wortman, Kristen, Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2017, 94; 10617467
Abstract (Summary)

Many people with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) report lingering symptoms that cause difficulties in everyday functioning as well as interpersonal communication. These changes are likely due to cognitive and emotional processing changes following injury. The association between personality and executive functioning (EF) is an emerging field with a small but growing body of research. Overall, that research has suggested that there is some relationship between personality, cognition, and emotional factors. Existing research exploring the interaction of personality and EF has tended to sample populations without executive dysfunction. Not all individuals with mild TBI are reported to have enduing cognitive and other impairments, but a recognized proportion report ongoing problems—i.e., the so-called “miserable minority” described by Ruff et al. (1996).

A sample of 19 veterans with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) was recruited from Sierra Nevada Healthcare System. Consistent with past research, veterans were tested for personality using the NEO-Five Factor Inventory-3 and executive functioning using three measures: DKEFS Color-Word, DKEFS Verbal Fluency and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.

Significant associations were found between Neuroticism and Inhibition, Agreeableness and Inhibition as well as Openness and Updating. Findings are consistent with common persistent symptoms following TBI: decreased energy reserve, headache and increased sensory overstimulation. Findings support using NEO assessment measures in clinical assessment to describe daily functioning in common language to make targeted recommendations. Future research in different TBI populations (moderate, severe, polytrauma) could strengthen findings. It is also recommended that the NEO measures are used to measure response to treatment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Drexler, Michael L.
Commitee: Casey, Shannon L., Porter, Natalie
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Francisco, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Concussion, Executive function, Five factor model, Personality, Traumatic brain injury, Veterans
Publication Number: 10617467
ISBN: 978-0-355-14820-6
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