Behavioural and affective functioning in children after mild traumatic brain injury

Sloan, Ann (2010) Behavioural and affective functioning in children after mild traumatic brain injury. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Previous research investigating affect and behaviour following mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) in children has produced variable results. It has been suggested that following a mTBI children may experience transitory "post-concussion" symptoms but subsequently will make a full recovery. In contrast, other studies have reported changes in children's behaviour and affect lasting even years post injury. The current study aimed to further document the impact of mTBI on behaviour and affect in children. This prospective study reports on a sample of 26 children aged between 6 and 12 years. The children were assessed at baseline, one week, three months and a subgroup at 12 months post injury. No changes were found over time on the standardised measures of behaviour and affect with the Behavioural Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC2). However, on the BASC2 the children with pre-existing problems displayed higher incidence of scores in the 'At Risk' or 'Clinically Significant' range on the Externalising Problems composite scale in comparison to the children with no preexisting problems. A qualitative question was also administered to parents. Approximately half of the whole sample reported some change in their child's mood or behaviour at one week post-injury and approximately one quarter continued to report changes at three months post injury. It was also investigated whether the children who had problems or changes reported at three months post-injury differed from the other children on any pre-morbid factors, however, no significant results were found. The overall conclusions drawn from the study were that the group of children referred to the study had a higher proportion of children with pre-existing problems than that expected in the general population. Further, these children differed pre-morbidly from those without pre-existing problems on standardised behavioural measures. While no changes were found over time on standardised measures of behaviour and affect, subjective parental report suggested that in fact there may have been more subtle changes in some children's behaviour up to 3 months post-injury. These findings are worthy of further systematic investigation.

Additional Information

Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1109 Neurosciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords brain injuries, behaviour, cognition, cognitive functioning, affective changes, child development
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