Family functioning and children's academic performance and behavior problems in the year following traumatic brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1994 Apr;75(4):369-79. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(94)90157-0.


This study examined the roles of preinjury family and child functioning and injury severity in predicting 1-year outcomes and changes in academic performance and behavioral problems following childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). Families of 94 children (ages 6 to 15) with TBI (mild = 50, moderate = 25, severe = 19) were consecutively enrolled from emergency departments of two regional medical centers. Standardized measures of family and child functioning and interviewer ratings were completed within 3 weeks of injury (measuring preinjury status), at 3 months, and 1 year. Mean ratings of preinjury child functioning were within normal range. Whereas injury severity was associated with substantial declines in academic functioning, there was no association of injury severity with change in behavior problems. Interview ratings showed declines at all severity levels, however. Poor academic and cognitive outcomes at 1 year were associated with injury severity and, to a lesser degree, poor preinjury family and child functioning. In contrast, most of the variation in behavioral outcomes was explained by preinjury child or family factors. Preinjury functioning must be assessed and support services provided for optimal academic and behavioral outcomes following childhood TBI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / prevention & control
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Role