Journal Article

Rebellious Behaviors in Adolescents With Epilepsy

Aimee W Smith, Constance Mara, Shannon Ollier, Angela Combs and Avani C Modi

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Published on behalf of Society of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 43, issue 1, pages 52-60
Published in print January 2018 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online May 2017 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI:
Rebellious Behaviors in Adolescents With Epilepsy

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  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Psychology


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The study aims are to (1) examine the prevalence of risk-taking (i.e., behaviors that can be categorized as rebellious or reckless) and (2) determine the influence of risk-taking on adherence, seizures, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adolescents with epilepsy. An exploratory aim was to identify predictors of risk-taking.


Fifty-four adolescents with epilepsy (M = 15.33 ± 1.46 years) and caregivers completed questionnaires on demographics, risk-taking, parent–child relations, adolescent inattention/hyperactivity, and HRQOL at four time points across 1 year. Seizure occurrence and electronically monitored adherence were also collected.


Rebellious behaviors were normative and stable over 1 year in adolescents with epilepsy. Higher rebelliousness was related to poorer adolescent-reported memory HRQOL. The only significant positive predictor of rebellious behaviors was adolescent age.


Adolescents with epilepsy endorsed normative levels of rebelliousness, which is negatively related to HRQOL. Older adolescents may warrant clinical attention.

Keywords: adherence; family functioning; inattention; quality of life; seizure

Journal Article.  5549 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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