Adaptive Behavior in High-Functioning Adults Following Childhood Hemispherectomy

Publication Date



Medical practitioners have used hemispherectomies (HE) as a last resort, lifesaving procedure used to treat intractable epilepsy when antiepileptic medications are not effective. HE involves the disconnection and removal of either the right or left cerebral hemisphere, depending on the pathological substrate and location of epileptogenic activity. Although HE has become a more widely used surgical intervention, little is known about the adaptive behavior outcomes for individuals who undergo this procedure. In the present study, I assessed overall adaptive behavior, as well as across domains and related skill areas using the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-Second Edition (ABAS-II; Harrison & Oakland, 2003). The ABAS-II was administered to 10 adult participants with normal range intelligence who underwent a childhood HE, and also to a designated observer (i.e., a family member close to the adult participant). Results from the ABAS-II provided information about daily living skills compared to a normative sample. The observers also provided extensive information about the participant with HE. The researcher explored factors related to onset of seizures, age at surgery, seizure etiology, and side of HE in relation to ABAS-II scores. Findings indicated that adults with childhood HE reported that they functioned at or above the normative sample, whereas observers reported that participants functioned at or below the normative sample. Results demonstrated a greater discrepancy between self- and observer-report scores for several skill areas: Self-Direction, Functional Academics, Health and Safety, Work, Leisure, and Social subscales. The clinical implications of the outcomes for adults following HE were discussed.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD, Non-Clinical)

First Advisor

Brown, Warren S.

Document Type





Adaptability, Adjustment, Childhood, Brain surgery, Psychosurgery




Public Access: If you attend a college or university, you may be granted access for free through your school library subscription to ProQuest Theses & Dissertations. Copies may be available for purchase via ProQuest Dissertations Publishing https://dissexpress.proquest.com/search.html

Upload File


Embargo Period