Children with new onset seizures: A prospective study of parent variables, child behavior problems, and seizure occurrence

Joan K. Austin, Linda C. Haber, David W. Dunn, Cheryl P. Shore, Cynthia S. Johnson, Susan M. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Parent variables (stigma, mood, unmet needs for information and support, and worry) are associated with behavioral difficulties in children with seizures; however, it is not known how this relationship is influenced by additional seizures. This study followed children (ages 4-14. years) and their parents over a 24-month period (with data collected at baseline and 6, 12, and 24. months) and investigated the effect of an additional seizure on the relationship between parenting variables and child behavior difficulties. Methods: The sample was parents of 196 children (104 girls and 92 boys) with a first seizure within the past 6. weeks. Child mean age at baseline was 8. years, 3. months (SD 3. years). Data were analyzed using t-tests, chi-square tests, and repeated measures analyses of covariance. Results: Relationships between parent variables, additional seizures, and child behavior problems were consistent across time. Several associations between parent variables and child behavior problems were stronger in the additional seizure group than in the no additional seizure group. Conclusions: Findings suggest that interventions that assist families to respond constructively to the reactions of others regarding their child's seizure condition and to address their needs for information and support could help families of children with continuing seizures to have an improved quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Child behavior problems
  • First seizure
  • Need for information and support
  • Parents
  • Stigma
  • Worry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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