British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 32 Issue 3 (September 1993), Pages 261-388

First impressions count: A controlled investigation of social skill following closed head injury (pages 309-318)

This study examined social skills in 14 closed head injured (CHI) patients who were assessed at four months post‐injury and compared with 19 orthopaedic control (OC) patients. Social skills deficits were found to be more common in the CHI patients, of whom over half were classified as socially unskilled. CHI patients displayed poorer social skills in the earlier (but not later) part of an extended social interaction, indicating that they make a poor first impression. It is suggested that poor initial impression formation skills may be one reason why CHI patients fail to establish and maintain friendships. Implications of these findings for patient management are discussed.

Close others of CHI patients reported higher levels of mood disturbance. Higher levels of close other hostility were associated with social skills deficits in CHI patients.

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