Adaptive functioning in pediatric brain tumor survivors: An examination of ethnicity and socioeconomic status

Kimberly P. Raghubar, Jessica Orobio, M. Douglas Ris, Andrew M. Heitzer, Alexandra Roth, Austin L. Brown, M. Fatih Okcu, Murali Chintagumpala, David R. Grosshans, Arnold C. Paulino, Anita Mahajan, Lisa S. Kahalley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Survivors of pediatric brain tumor are at risk for adaptive difficulties. The present study examined adaptive functioning in a multiethnic sample of survivors accounting for socioeconomic status, and whether demographic, diagnostic, and/or treatment-related variables predict adaptive outcomes. Method: Participants included a multiethnic sample of survivors (58 Caucasian, 34 Hispanic, and 22 other non-Caucasian; M age = 14.05 years, SD = 4.33) who were approximately seven years post-treatment. Parents rated adaptive functioning and provided demographic information. Diagnostic and treatment-related information was abstracted from the electronic medical record. Results: Parent ratings of adaptive functioning were similar across Caucasian, Hispanic, and other non-Caucasian survivors covarying for family income and primary caregiver education, both of which served as proxies for socioeconomic status. All ethnic groups were rated lower than the normative mean in overall adaptive functioning as well as the specific domains of conceptual, social, and practical skills. Demographic, diagnostic, and treatment-related variables were differentially associated with adaptive functioning in survivors of pediatric brain tumor, though socioeconomic status emerged as a strong significant predictor of adaptive functioning domains. Conclusions: Adaptive outcomes do not differ as a function of ethnicity after accounting for primary caregiver education and family income. Racial and ethnic minorities may be at increased risk for poorer outcomes given their overrepresentation at lower income levels. Assessing demographic and treatment-related variables early on may be helpful in identifying children likely to develop adaptive difficulties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27800
Pages (from-to)e27800
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • adaptive functioning
  • brain tumor
  • ethnicity
  • radiation
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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