For a long time, clinicians believed children who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury went on to an uneventful recovery. More recent research has demonstrated the fallacy of this outdated belief. A new study published in Brain Injury explored the behavioral and emotional difficulties following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury.

In this study, 93 parents of children under the age of 16with a mild traumatic brain injury were asked to complete subscales of age-appropriate versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, as well as the Adolescent Scale of Participation at four years post-injury.

The study results showed that more than 19% of these children met published criteria for clinically significant hyperactivity/inattention, emotional functioning problems, peer relationship problems, and social functioning difficulties. Lower family socio-economic status and more significant parental anxiety and depression were associated with overall psychosocial challenges.

The researchers concluded, “findings indicate that as a group, children with mild TBI are characterized by elevated rates of behavioral, emotional and social difficulties at four years post-injury.” Please find more information on this study here.