Short- and long-term social outcomes following pediatric traumatic brain injury

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 May;10(3):412-26. doi: 10.1017/S1355617704103093.


The social outcomes of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) were examined in a prospective, longitudinal study that included 53 children with severe TBI, 56 with moderate TBI, and 80 with orthopedic injuries, recruited between 6 and 12 years of age. Child and family functioning were assessed at baseline, at 6- and 12-month follow-ups, and at an extended follow-up a mean of 4 years post injury. Growth curve analyses revealed that pediatric TBI yields negative social outcomes that are exacerbated by family environments characterized by lower socioeconomic status, fewer family resources, and poorer family functioning. After controlling for group membership, age, race, socioeconomic status, and IQ, path analyses indicated that long-term social outcomes were accounted for in part by specific neurocognitive skills, including executive functions and pragmatic language, and by social problem-solving. Deficits in these domains among children with TBI are likely to reflect damage to a network of brain regions that have been implicated in social cognition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glasgow Coma Scale / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Problem Solving
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices