Family function in cognitively normal children with epilepsy: Impact on competence and problem behaviors

Nancy Thornton, Lorie Hamiwka, Elisabeth Sherman, Enrica Tse, Marlene Blackman, Elaine Wirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional cohort of 82 cognitively normal children with epilepsy attending the pediatric neurology clinic, who were aged 6-17 years and who had a similarly aged sibling without seizures or cognitive delay, were identified. The parent was asked to complete the Family Assessment Measure III (FAM-III) as well as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for both the child with epilepsy and his or her sibling. The Overall Rating Score on FAM-III did not differ significantly from the normative mean, although families scored significantly better on the Involvement subscale and significantly worse on the Role Performance subscale. Moderate correlations were found between competence and behavior problems and family function in both children with epilepsy and their siblings. In families functioning at the highest level, both cohorts did well. In those at the lowest level, approximately half of the children in either cohort had problems. For average functioning families, behavior and competence issues were more frequent in children with epilepsy than their siblings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Behavior
  • Competence
  • Epilepsy
  • Family function
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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