Objective: The behavioral ratings of preschoolers who sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) prior to the age of 2 years and a typically developing group were compared; predictors of behavioral functioning were examined.
Methods: Eighty-two 3-year-olds comprised mild TBI (n = 31), moderate/severe TBI (n = 20), and typically developing (n = 31) groups, with Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) as the primary outcome measure.
Results: Groups differed on the CBCL Withdrawal Scale. No differences emerged in the proportion of children demonstrating clinical elevations, with average mean scores for each group. Exploratory analyses yielded no differences between inflicted, non-inflicted, and typical groups. Glasgow Coma Scale and Self-Report Family Inventory Leadership predicted Externalizing Problems; developmental level predicted Internalizing Problems.
Conclusions: After early TBI, preschoolers did not differ from one another or a matched comparison group in behavioral ratings; however, it may be premature to infer that preschoolers do not evidence behavioral dysfunction after early TBI.