Psychological sequelae of brain damage in children

Am J Psychiatry. 1981 Dec;138(12):1533-44. doi: 10.1176/ajp.138.12.1533.


The author reviews the empirical evidence on the psychological sequelae of brain damage in childhood, concluding that brain injury causes a markedly increased risk in both intellectual impairment and psychiatric disorder. The risk is related to the severity of the brain damage, but there is little indication of locus effects. Psychiatric disorder is probably most likely to occur when there is abnormal neurophysiological activity; to some extent it may be influenced by the nature of the basic medical condition. Psychiatric consequences of brain injury are also substantially affected by the child's pre-injury behavior, psychosocial circumstances, and cognitive level. However, there are few psychological sequelae that are specific to brain damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Development*
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Epilepsy, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Intelligence
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology*
  • Social Environment