Research Reports - Right frontal pole cortical thickness and social competence in children with chronic traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 Mar-Apr;30(2)

Levan A(1), Baxter L, Kirwan CB, Black G, Gale SD

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between right frontal pole cortical
thickness, social competence, and cognitive proficiency in children participants
with a history of chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI).
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-three children (65% male; M age = 12.8 years, SD = 2.3
years) at least 1 year post-injury (M = 3.3 years, SD = 1.7 years) were evaluated
with the Cognitive Proficiency Index (CPI) from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale
for Children, 4th Edition, and their caregiver completed the Child Behavior
Checklist. Social competence was evaluated with the Social Competence and Social
Problems subscales from the Child Behavior Checklist. Right frontal pole cortical
thickness was calculated via FreeSurfer from high-resolution 3-dimensional T1
magnetic resonance imaging scans.
RESULTS: Direct effect of right frontal pole cortical thickness on social
competence was significant (β = 14.09, SE = 4.6, P < .01). Right frontal pole
cortical thickness significantly predicted CPI (β = 18.44, SE = 4.9, P < .05),
and CPI significantly predicted social competence (β = 0.503, SE = 0.17, P <
.01). Findings were consistent with the hypothesized mediation model.
CONCLUSIONS: The association between right frontal lobe cortical integrity and
social competence in pediatric participants with chronic TBI may be mediated
through cognitive proficiency.

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