College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Christopher Keys, PhD

Second Advisor

Megan Greeson, PhD

Third Advisor

Leonard Jason, PhD


Understanding the different dimensions of psychosocial HRQOL for youth

with spinal cord injury (SCI) is still a developing research focus in medical and disability studies. Pediatric-onset SCI is relatively rare. Family Stress Theory’s Adaptation Phase accounts for how a stressor can impact all family members (McCubbin and Patterson, 1993). This study aimed to look at new factors, including cognitive approaches to challenges, physical health indicators (i.e., incontinence), caregiver mental health problems (i.e., anxiety and depression), and general family dysfunction that may impact psychosocial HRQOL for youth (ages 6-18) with SCI, in terms of the perspectives of both the youth and the primary caregiver (n =158). This dissertation study used several linear regressions to determine each variable’s impact on each reporter’s psychosocial HRQOL. Negative Problem Orientation was significant in both caregiver proxy report and youth-report psychosocial HRQOL. Negative Problem Orientation and fecal incontinence were found to significantly impact psychosocial HRQOL. For the caregiver proxy-report psychosocial HRQOL, caregiver depression was found to be the most predictive. The findings of this study suggest that more research is needed to determine which variables impact both caregiver and youth-report psychosocial HRQOL for youth with SCI. Additionally, problem-solving and mental health interventions, as well as interventions/education about reducing incontinence may improve psychosocial

HRQOL for youth with SCI.

SLP Collection