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  • Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Volume 17, Issue 2
  • January 2011, pp. 317-326

Coping Strategies as a Predictor of Post-concussive Symptoms in Children with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury versus Mild Orthopedic Injury

  • Stacey E. Woodrome (a1), Keith Owen Yeates (a2) (a3), H. Gerry Taylor (a4) (a5), Jerome Rusin (a6), Barbara Bangert (a7), Ann Dietrich (a2) (a8), Kathryn Nuss (a2) (a8) and Martha Wright (a4) (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 18 January 2011

This study examined whether children's coping strategies are related to post-concussive symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) versus orthopedic injury (OI). Participants were 8- to 15-year-old children with mild TBI (n = 167) or OI (n = 84). They rated their current preferred coping strategies and post-injury symptoms at 2 weeks (baseline) and 1, 3, and 12 months post-injury. Children's reported use of coping strategies did not vary significantly over time, so their baseline coping ratings were examined as predictors of post-concussive symptoms across time. Self-ratings of symptoms were positively related to emotion-focused strategies and negatively related to problem-focused engagement after both mild TBI and OI. Higher problem-focused disengagement predicted larger group differences in children's ratings of symptoms, suggesting that problem-focused disengagement moderates the effects of mild TBI. Coping strategies collectively accounted for approximately 10–15% of the variance in children's post-concussive symptoms over time. The findings suggest that coping may play an important role in accounting for children's perceptions of post-concussive symptoms after mild TBI. (JINS, 2011, 17, 317–326)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Keith Owen Yeates, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205. E-mail:
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