Mild closed-head injury in children and adolescents: behavior problems and academic outcomes

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1998 Dec;66(6):1023-9. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.66.6.1023.


The issue of whether mild head injuries (HIs) in children cause behavior problems and poor scholastic performance is controversial. This study included 119 children (range = 8-16 years old) with HI, 114 with other injuries, and 106 with no injury (NI). Behavioral functioning was assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist; academic functioning, with school grades and standardized testing. Higher T scores were found for both injury groups versus NI participants on preinjury behavioral status. All 3 groups' behavioral scores decreased relative to baseline at 1 year. HI and NI groups did not differ in school grades or achievement testing either pre- or postinjury. These results are consistent with the conclusion that head injury of the mildest type does not increase the probability of new overt behavioral or academic problems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / classification
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / psychology
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / psychology