Psychological problems, self-esteem and body dissatisfaction in a sample of adolescents with brain lesions: A comparison with a control group

Valentina Pastore, Katia Colombo, Deborah Maestroni, Susanna Galbiati, Federica Villa, Monica Recla, Federica Locatelli, Sandra Strazzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Primary objectives: This study aims to describe psychological problems, self-esteem difficulties and body dissatisfaction in a sample of adolescents with acquired brain lesions and to compare them with an age- and gender-matched control group. Research design: In an experimental design, the psychological profile of 26 adolescents with brain lesions of traumatic or vascular aetiology, aged 12-18 years, was compared with that of 18 typically-developing subjects. Moreover, within the clinical group, patients with TBI were compared with patients with vascular lesions. Methods and procedures: The psychological and adaptive profile of the adolescents was assessed by a specific protocol, including CBCL, VABS, RSES, EDI-2 and BES. Main outcome and results: Adolescents with brain lesions showed more marked psychological problems than their healthy peers; they also presented with a greater impairment of adaptive skills and a lower self-esteem. No significant differences were found between patients with traumatic lesions and patients with vascular lesions. Conclusions: Adolescents with acquired brain lesions were at higher risk to develop psychological and behavioural difficulties. Furthermore, in the clinical sample, some variables such as the long hospitalization and isolation from family and peers were associated to a greater psychological burden than the aetiology of the brain damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015



  • Adolescent
  • Body image disorders
  • Brain injuries
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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