Term of Award

1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Master of Arts in Psychology

Committee Chair

Janice H. Kennedy

Committee Member 1

Daniel G. Webster

Committee Member 2

Paul R. Kleinginna

Abstract

Persons with epilepsy are prone to problems of psychological and/or social adjustment, especially in cases of intractable epilepsy not responding to conventional treatments. Neurosurgery is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for reduction of seizures in these cases. The effectiveness of this surgery with regard to psychosocial adjustment, however, has not been thoroughly evaluated. Using the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), this study examined psychosocial problems in a sample of children and adolescents suffering from intractable epilepsy, and also examined the effectiveness of epilepsy surgery for reducing these problems.

It was predicted that subjects would show improved social competence and fewer behavior problems following surgery. A sample of 21 children and adolescents suffering from intractable epilepsy showed significantly more problem behaviors and less social competence when compared to normal children and adolescents. Pre- and postsurgery scores on the Achenbach CBCL were compared for seven subjects who had undergone surgery for treatment of intractable epilepsy. These subjects showed significant improvements on measures of withdrawn behavior problems and social competence 12 months after surgery.

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