Research Reports - Behavioral and cognitive predictors of educational outcomes in pediatric traumatic brain injury

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2013 Jun 21:1-9

Arnett AB, Peterson RL, Kirkwood MW, Taylor HG, Stancin T, Brown TM, Wade SL

Research reveals mixed results regarding the utility of standardized cognitive
and academic tests to predict educational outcomes in youth following a traumatic
brain injury (TBI). Yet, deficits in everyday school-based outcomes are prevalent
after pediatric TBI. The current study used path modeling to test the hypothesis
that parent ratings of adolescents' daily behaviors associated with executive
functioning (EF) would predict long-term functional educational outcomes
following pediatric TBI, even when injury severity and patient demographics were
included in the model. Furthermore, we contrasted the predictive strength of the
EF behavioral ratings with that of a common measure of verbal memory. A total of
132 adolescents who were hospitalized for moderate to severe TBI were recruited
to participate in a randomized clinical intervention trial. EF ratings and verbal
memory were measured within 6 months of the injury; functional educational
outcomes were measured 12 months later. EF ratings and verbal memory added to
injury severity in predicting educational competence post injury but did not
predict post-injury initiation of special education. The results demonstrated
that measurement of EF behaviors is an important research and clinical tool for
prediction of functional outcomes in pediatric TBI.

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