Sally M. Askar



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The objective of this study is to understand the influence of externalizing symptoms (e.g., hyperactivity, oppositionality) on unintentional home injuries in children. Childhood unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children under 18 years of age (Krug, Sharma, & Lozano, 2010). Past research has shown that the presence of certain behavioral disorders may impact the risk of childhood injury (Pastor & Reuben, 2006). These disorders include Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). The psychiatric symptoms of these disorders comprise of externalizing symptoms such as aggression, hyperactivity, and oppositionality (inadequate cooperation or compliance by the child; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The literature about the effects of externalizing problems on unintentional injury risk has been equivocal (Schwebel, Hodgens, & Sterling, 2006; Davidson et al., 1992). Further, research identifying the specific externalizing symptoms that could increase the risk for unintentional home injuries in children is lacking. This proposed study will test the hypothesis that children with externalizing symptoms are more likely to be at risk for pediatric home injuries than children who do not exhibit such symptoms. This study will use data collected from 90 families who participated in a larger faculty-led study on sibling supervision (Safety Involving Brothers and Sisters; Brown Kirschman & Dodds, in progress), which will be coded and analyzed to examine the current research questions. The identification of child attributions that may increase risk of home injury is an important first step in targeting prevention efforts. Furthermore, because unintentional injury has been seen as a public health problem, these findings will be beneficial for programs that promote injury prevention by identifying the certain mechanisms that can cause children to be at a greater risk for unintentional injury (Schwebel et al., 2007).

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Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Keri J B Kirschman

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Externalizing Symptoms as a Risk for Unintentional Injuries in Children