1. TBI: What College Disability Specialists and Educators Should Know about Executive Functions

    DO YOU KNOW that deficits in executive functions, attention, and learning and memory are the most common cognitive problems after a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? In this document we explain what executive functions are, how they interfere with college life, and the supports students with TBI need to have equal access in college. Download the complete document here. This product was developed by Mary Kennedy, PhD, Chapman University; Monica Vaccaro, MS, Brain Injury Association of PA and Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute; and Tessa Hart, PhD, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, grant #90DP0037.
  2. Psychometric Properties of the College Survey for Students with Brain Injury

    Purpose: The psychometric properties of the college challenges sub-set from The College Survey for Students with Brain Injury (CSS-BI) were investigated with adults with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: Adults with and without TBI completed the CSS-BI. A sub-set of participants with TBI were interviewed, intentional and convergent validity were investigated, and the internal structure of the college challenges was analysed with exploratory factor analysis/principle component analysis. Results: Respondents with TBI understood the items describing college challenges with evidence of intentional validity. More individuals with TBI than controls endorsed eight of the 13 college challenges. Those who reported more health issues endorsed more college challenges, demonstrating preliminary convergent validity. Cronbach’s alphas of >0.85 demonstrated acceptable internal reliability. Factor analysis revealed a four-factor model for those with TBI: studying and learning (Factor 1), time management and organization(Factor 2), social (Factor 3) and nervousness/anxiety (Factor 4). This model explained 72% and 69% of the variance for those with and without TBI, respectively. Conclusion: The college challenges sub-set from the CSS-BI identifies challenges that individuals with TBI face when going to college. Some challenges were related to two factors in the model, demonstrating the inter-connections of these experiences. Download the pdf here.

Research from the NeuroCognitive Communication Lab (NCCL)

Dr. Mary Kennedy, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Mary Kennedy, Ph.D., CCC-SLP runs the NCCL, where her research is focused on understanding and managing the cognitive and language problems of individuals who have sustained a brain injury.