Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 236, Issue 9, pp 2493–2505 | Cite as

Exploring the relationship between boredom proneness and self-control in traumatic brain injury (TBI)

  • Julia Isacescu
  • James DanckertEmail author
Research Article


Characterized as an agitated state in which the individual is motivated to engage in their environment but all attempts to do so fail to satisfy, boredom represents a disengaged attentional state that is associated with negative affect and poor self-control. There have been anecdotal reports of increased levels of boredom post-traumatic brain injury (TBI). For the first time, we provide objective evidence that TBI patients do indeed experience higher levels of boredom proneness. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that the presence and severity of head injury were a significant positive predictor of levels of boredom proneness and a negative predictor of self-control. As with healthy controls, TBI patients showed a strong negative correlation between boredom proneness and self-control—those with lower levels of self-control exhibited higher levels of boredom proneness. This was despite the fact that our TBI patients reported higher overall levels of self-control (probably concomitant with their older mean age). The TBI patients also showed strong positive correlations between boredom proneness and measures of physical aggression and anger. Together, this suggests that patients with TBI may be more susceptible to increased levels of boredom proneness and other negative affective states that arise as a consequence of failures of self-control.


Boredom Attention Self-control Traumatic brain injury Aggression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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