Behaviour problems in children with new-onset epilepsy

D. W. Dunn, J. K. Austin, G. A. Huster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations


Behaviour problems are common in children with epilepsy and it is not known when these problems begin. Some suggest that behaviour problems are caused by a neurological condition that also causes the seizures. Behaviour problems were investigated in 42 youths (23 girls and 19 boys) over a 4-month period beginning at the time of the initial seizure. Subjects were aged 4-15 years (mean, M = 8.4). Approximately 57% had partial seizure(s) and 43% had generalized seizure(s). The large majority (71%) were diagnosed with epilepsy. As a part of a larger study, parents rated their children's behaviour on the Child Behaviour Checklist immediately prior to the first seizure (time 1), and at 4 months after the first seizure (time 2). Seizure severity was rated as follows: high = 20%, moderate = 39%, and low = 41%. At time 1, 24% already had behaviour problems. Behaviour problems significantly decreased from time 1 to time 2 (P < 0.001) for the whole group. Within the epilepsy group (n = 40), differences were found in behaviour problems based on seizure severity from time 1 to time 2 as follows: low, time 1: M = 55, time 2: M = 45; moderate, time 1: M = 55, time 2: M = 51; and high, time 1: M = 61, time 2: M = 55. Results indicate that children should be assessed for behaviour problems at the time of the first seizure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Behaviour
  • CBCL
  • Children
  • Epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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