Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Christina L. Duncan.
Obstetric brachial plexus injuries (OBPI) occur during childbirth when the child's shoulder blade gets stuck on the mother's pubic bone, resulting in damage to nerves in the child's shoulder. Due to the possible visible nature (e.g., injured arm may be shorter than the non-injured arm) and mobility limitations (e.g., difficulties in raising the injured arm to brush one's teeth) associated with these injuries, youth with OBPI may experience psychosocial difficulties. However, little research has examined the psychosocial functioning in this population. The current study sought to investigate possible predictors of social functioning and self-concept in youth with OBPI. This study also explored the utility of a brief screening questionnaire (Brachial Injury Social Questionnaire) specifically designed to assess social difficulties that youth with OBPI may experience. Results suggested that a full model of variables (i.e., perceived social support from parents, classmates, close friends, and teachers; frequency of positive coping strategies; and injury severity) significantly predicted self-concept in youth with OBPI. Specifically, more social support from classmates was associated with increases in self-concept. Another model of predictors (i.e., perceived social support from parents, classmates, close friends, and teachers; frequency of positive coping strategies; injury severity; and age) also was found to be associated with youth-reported social difficulties as measured by the Brachial Plexus Social Questionnaire, with higher levels of perceived classmate social support being significantly associated with fewer social difficulties. In addition, the initial psychometric properties of the Brachial Injury Social Questionnaire seemed promising. Based on the results from this study, clinicians and medical teams who work with youth with OBPI should consider peer support when examining the psychosocial functioning of these youth.
Mentrikoski, Janelle M., "Psychosocial Concerns in Pediatric Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury Patients" (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3545.