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Title: Investigation into the frontal lobe functioning of young offenders with and without a head injury
Author: Payne, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 2101
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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Recent research has established a high prevalence of head injuries in both the adult and youth offending populations. Offenders often have difficulties with tasks that involve executive and frontal lobe functioning compared to non-offenders, but research has often not recorded or controlled for the effect of head injury. This research aimed to investigate whether young offenders in the community, with self-reported traumatic brain injury (TBI), perform differently to young offenders without a TBI on tasks that are associated with frontal lobe functioning. Participants completed a battery of assessment measures that related to four different areas of frontal lobe functioning. In addition measures of mood, socio-economic status (SES) and IQ were taken as possible confounding variables. A total of 20 participants were recruited in the TBI group and 15 in the non-TBI group. Participants were aged between 12-17 years old and had either past or current involvement with Youth Offending Services (YOS). The TBI group had significantly lower IQ and SES than the non-TBI group but similar levels of self-reported depression. The TBI group were more impulsive on an inhibition task and were poorer at intuitive and emotion-based decision making, and reading emotions from the eyes. There were no significant differences between the groups on reaction time tests. The study concluded that within this sample of young offenders, those with a self-reported head injury had poorer performance on some tasks associated with frontal lobe functioning, but not others. The findings are considered in the context of theoretical and clinical implications with suggestions for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available