Vol. 4, No. 2, 1998 Page 5


Childhood head injuries-even seemingly mild ones-can lead to hyperactivity and learning disabilities. A new study indicates that, in addition, these injuries can lead to poor social functioning, aggression, and antisocial behavior.

T. K. Andrews and colleagues compared 27 control subjects to 27 children who had suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Of the subjects' brain injuries, eight were mild, nine were moderate, and ten were severe. Subjects with penetrating wounds, evidence of abuse or neglect, or pre-existing learning disabilities, psychological disorders, or developmental disorders were excluded.

Andrews et al. report that "TBI children were found to have significantly lower levels of self-esteem and adaptive behavior and higher levels of loneliness, maladaptive and aggressive/antisocial behavior than comparison children." Notably, they say, "there were no differences between the three TBI severity groups in terms of either social or behavioral function"-a finding similar to that of other studies showing that even mild head injuries can have serious consequences.

This new study adds to an extensive body of evidence linking head injuries to a wide range of pathological behaviors. Among recent findings:


"Social and behavioural effects of traumatic brain injury in children," T. K. Andrews, F. D. Rose, and D. A. Johnson, Brain Injury, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1998, pp. 133-138. Address: T. K. Andrews, Department of Psychology, University of East London, London, E15 4LZ, UK.


"Outcome after traumatic brain injury in the U.S. military medical system," A. K. Ommaya, A. M. Salazar, A. L. Dannenberg, A. B. Chervinsky, and K. Schwab, Journal of Trauma, Vol. 41, No. 6, December 1996, pp. 972-975. Address: A. K. Ommaya, Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307-5001.


"Frontal lobe injuries, violence, and aggression: a report of the Vietnam Head Injury Study," J. Grafman, K. Schwab, D. Warden, A. Pridgen, H. R. Brown, and A. M. Salazar, Neurology, Vol. 46, No. 5, May 1996, pp. 1231-1238. Address: J. Grafman, Cognitive Neuroscience Section, NIH/NINDS/MNB, Bethesda, MD 20892-1440.

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