Kessler Foundation researcher receives grant to study emotional processing deficit in children with TBI

Jean Lengenfelder, Ph.D. From the Kessler Foundation, he received a two-year $ 168,001 grant from the New Jersey Brain Injury Research Commission to study the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on children’s ability to reliably process the feelings of others.

Children with TBI often struggle with social interaction and relationships, even years after their injury. Difficulties in emotional processing can contribute to these social problems. In particular, difficulties in correctly recognizing emotions from facial expressions can have significant negative impacts on social interactions, mood, and quality of life.

Although there has been a lot of research on emotional processing problems in adults with TBI, much less has been done on children with TBI who have these deficits. The development and application of treatments to improve emotional processing are crucial to improving the way these children function at home, at school, and ultimately in the workplace. “

Dr. Jean Lengenfelder, Assistant Director, Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation

Pilot study dr. Lengenfelder is based on the existing 12-session treatment used to teach adults with TBI to correctly recognize facial expressions of different emotions. The research team will adapt this treatment to the pediatric population and test its effectiveness in improving emotional processing deficits in children recovering from TBI.

The Kessler Foundation conducts research on children’s rehabilitation in partnership with the Children’s Specialized Hospital.