Research Reports - Negative behavioral and cognitive outcomes following traumatic brain injury in early childhood

J Pediatr Psychol. 2015 May;40(4):391-397

Garcia D(1), Hungerford GM(1), Bagner DM(2)

OBJECTIVE:  To summarize recent research on negative behavioral and cognitive
outcomes following early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI).  METHODS:
 Topical review of the literature published since the year 2000 examining
behavioral and cognitive difficulties following TBI in early childhood.  RESULTS:
 Research findings from the reviewed studies demonstrate a variety of negative
behavioral and cognitive outcomes following TBI in childhood, particularly for
children <5 years of age. Negative outcomes include problems with externalizing
behaviors, attention, language, and cognitive functioning (e.g., IQ, executive
functioning). Furthermore, negative outcomes have been shown to persist up to 16
years following the injury.  CONCLUSIONS:  The empirical studies reviewed
demonstrate the increased risk for negative behavioral and cognitive outcomes
following early childhood TBI. Furthermore, the review highlights current
strengths and limitations of TBI research with young children and the need for
multidisciplinary work examining outcomes for this vulnerable pediatric
population.

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