Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause a variety of social, emotional,
and behavioral impairments in the long term. Social impairment after the
TBI is often a significant consequence, as childhood is a vital window for
acquiring social skills and maintaining healthy peer relationships.
A recent study found that long-term social and behavioral problems in
children with TBI are associated with injury severity and may take years
to emerge. Children with severe TBI showed a significant increase in social
problems from 12 to 24 months after the injury and had significantly more
social and behavioral impairment than children with mild TBI or healthy
peers. In contrast, children with mild and moderate TBI showed fewer social
and behavioral problems at the 12- and 24-month mark.
The mental health and functioning of family members explained some of
the variation in the recovery of children with severe TBI, suggesting
that a healthy home environment is critical for their long-term rehabilitation.
Ryan NP, van Bijnen L, Catroppa C, et al. Longitudinal outcome and recovery
of social problems after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI): Contribution
of brain insult and family environment. International Journal of Developmental
Neuroscience. (March 2016.)