The effects of head injury in children on neuropsychological and behavioural functioning

Brain Inj. Oct-Dec 1991;5(4):339-51. doi: 10.3109/02699059109008107.


In a prospective study 76 children were divided into three groups on the basis of severity of head injury as defined by the Glasgow Coma Scale and duration of increased intracranial pressure. The children were administered a neuropsychological test battery and behavioural ratings were made by parents and teachers at three intervals: time of hospital discharge and 3 and 9 months post-initial testing. There were cognitive deficits related to severity of injury with the greatest difference in abilities observed between the severe and the other two groups. The greatest differences in skills were on the Performance IQ and timed tests of visual-motor speed and co-ordination. The greatest improvement in skills occurred in the first 3 months post-injury. Several children in coma for up to 4 weeks were able to obtain normal IQ scores. In the mild and moderate injury groups very few had behavioural change while in the severe group approximately 90% had one learning or adjustment difficulty and 40% had three or more problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coma / complications
  • Coma / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head Injuries, Closed / complications*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / etiology*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Ontario
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / complications
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / psychology
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Disorders / etiology*
  • Psychomotor Disorders / psychology