The Relationship Between Self Reported Brain Injury and Substance Abuse Among a Sample of Incarcerated Males

Robert Walker, University of Kentucky
Michele Staton, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Traumatic brain injury has been associated with aggression, as well as problems in cognitive functioning such as damage to intellectual functioning, reduced impulse controls, impaired problem recognition, and problem solving. These factors contribute to substance abuse treatment outcomes. In addition, substance abuse may be a contributing factor to brain injury and a complicating factor for rehabilitation. Therefore, the presence of brain injury among substance abusers may have serious implications for substance abuse treatment. This study examines the relationship between self-reported brain injury and substance abuse among incarcerated males in Kentucky. Method: The sample includes 500 incarcerated men in minimum and medium security facilities in Kentucky. Inmates were interviewed individually by trained interviewers. The interview incorporates factors associated with health and substance abuse including a self report head injury index. Chi-square and analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be used to examine differences in substance abuse and treatment across three groups defined by no head injury, one head injury, and two or more head injuries. Implications for Practice: A better understanding of the correlating behaviors with the presence of brain injury among incarcerated males may stress the importance of including brain injury items into clinical assessments of substance abusers.

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Updated 05/20/2006