Child and adolescent traumatic brain injury: correlates of disruptive behaviour disorders

Brain Inj. 1998 Jan;12(1):41-52. doi: 10.1080/026990598122845.


A record review focused on children and adolescents, with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), who were consecutively admitted to a brain injury clinic in which all new patients are psychiatrically evaluated. Correlates of post-injury oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) and post-injury attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AHD) were investigated. Subjects who developed ODD/CD following TBI, when compared to subjects without a lifetime history of the disorder, had significantly more impaired family functioning, showed a trend toward a greater family history of alcohol dependence/abuse and suffered a milder TBI. In contrast, there were no variables which discriminated between subjects who developed ADHD following injury and those with no lifetime history of ADHD. It is difficult to determine whether ODD, CD and ADHD occurring after TBI in the patient is related to the TBI, directly or indirectly. Appropriate clinical assessment requires consideration of the important mediating role of family functioning, severity of injury and family psychiatric history.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / genetics
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Communication Disorders / etiology
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Health
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Intelligence
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / genetics
  • Personality Disorders / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies