Survival of social relationships following head injury Academic Article uri icon


  • A retrospective search through the medical records at a rehabilitation hospital in Melbourne, Australia, identified 38 subjects (within the age range 19-34 years) suffering the effect of a severe closed-head injury 2-10 years post-trauma. In regard to social relationships, availability of post-trauma close attachment figures and looser social networks were markedly reduced for the head-injured group in relation to a matched community control group. However, they did not generally perceive these social relationships as inadequate when compared to a normal control sample. Moreover, within the head-injured group the perception of inadequate social relationships was not significantly associated with minor psychiatric disturbance. The implications of these results in terms of the social bond theory of depression are discussed, and issues in long-term social support of this population are raised.

publication date

  • January 1989