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Behavioral and Cognitive Predictors of Educational Outcomes in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Anne B. Arnett (a1) (a2), Robin L. Peterson (a1) (a2), Michael W. Kirkwood (a1), H. Gerry Taylor (a3) (a4), Terry Stancin (a5), Tanya M. Brown (a6) and Shari L. Wade (a7)...

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. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–9)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Anne B. Arnett, Children's Hospital Colorado Rehabilitation Medicine, 13123 E. 16th Avenue, B285, Aurora, Colorado 80045-7106. E-mail:
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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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