‘School's a big part of your life …’: Adolescent Perspectives of Their School Participation Following Traumatic Brain Injury Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractSustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as an adolescent has a significant impact on life roles and most notably on that of school participation. In the literature there is a wide range of studies that provide clinicians with information regarding recommendations for assisting students in their return to school. However this information has predominantly been provided from the perspectives of educators and rehabilitation staff. The aim of this preliminary project was to hear the stories of three male adolescent students as they reflected on their own experiences of what it was like to go back to school after sustaining a severe TBI. Using a qualitative research design and in-depth interviews, the students' stories were transcribed and coded using grounded theory principles. Despite persisting communication difficulties, the students were able to provide rich stories indicative of their personal experiences. Three key themes emerged from the interviews: theadolescent student's sense of self, changesthe students noted; andsupportsthe students identified. A tentative model illustrating the relationship between these areas was developed. It is anticipated that this model will assist clinicians and educators to develop a holistic picture of a student's school participation from transition to ongoing school life.

publication date

  • May 1, 2010