Predictors of marital stability 2 years following traumatic brain injury

Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, Jessica M. Ketchum, Taryn Dezfulian, Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Therese M. O'neil-Pirozzi, Flora Hammond, Amitabh Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine the predictors of continuous marital stability over 2 years post-injury and examine the moderating effects of ethnicity. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Longitudinal dataset of the TBI Model Systems National Database. Participants: Nine hundred and seventy-seven individuals with primarily moderate-to-severe TBI (751 Caucasians and 226 minorities) hospitalized between 1989-2005. Main outcomes: Marital stability was defined as 'stably married' (married at admission and married at follow-up years 1 and 2) and 'unstably married' (being single, divorced or separated at any of the two follow-up years). Results: Across the 2 years post-injury, 85% of study participants who reported being married upon admission for TBI had stable marital status, while 15% indicated being separated or divorced. Younger age, being a male with a TBI, suffering a TBI as a result of a violent injury and having moderate injury severity predicted marital instability. Furthermore, within minorities, increases in disability resulted in a higher likelihood of being stably married. Conclusions: These research findings are clinically relevant and assist marital/couples/family intervention therapists and/or rehabilitation professionals to design programmes early after injury to target these at risk couples. Further research on the modifiable factors contributing to marital instability after TBI and potential moderators is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Ethnicity
  • Marital stability
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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