Through children's eyes: children's experience of living with a parent with an acquired brain injury Academic Article uri icon


  • While previous literature on brain injury reports high levels of stress and burden in primary caregivers, the impact on children has been overlooked. This paper reports on an in-depth, qualitative research project exploring the experiences of four children living with fathers with an acquired brain injury (ABI). The findings indicate that these children were negatively impacted and at risk of emotional and behavioural difficulties. The children reported a complexity of feelings associated with the trauma and multiple losses, including profound grief, social isolation and fear of family disintegration and violence. Despite the difficulties they faced, the children also demonstrated resilience and reported positive outcomes such as having greater independence. Although only a small pilot study, the current findings highlight the need for both clinicians and researchers to be more proactive in questioning their clients and families about the level of violence following ABI and that disclosure may be more likely to occur with on-going involvement and support. The study concludes that early intervention and systemic support is required to minimize the trauma for these children. Further research is recommended, not only to replicate these findings in a larger sample, but also to explore in-depth children's experience of living with a parent with a brain injury.

publication date

  • January 2004