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Modeling of longitudinal academic achievement scores after pediatric traumatic brain injury.

Authors
  • Ewing-Cobbs, Linda
  • Barnes, Marcia
  • Fletcher, Jack M
  • Levin, Harvey S
  • Swank, Paul R
  • Song, James
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental Neuropsychology
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2004
Volume
25
Issue
1-2
Pages
107–133
Identifiers
PMID: 14984331
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In a prospective longitudinal study, academic achievement scores were obtained from youth 5 to 15 years of age who sustained mild-moderate (n = 34) or severe (n = 43) traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Achievement scores were collected from baseline to 5 years following TBI and were subjected to individual growth curve analysis. The models fitted age at injury, years since injury, duration of impaired consciousness, and interaction effects to Reading Decoding, Reading Comprehension, Spelling, and Arithmetic standard scores. Although scores improved significantly over the follow-up relative to normative data from the standardization sample of the tests, children with severe TBI showed persistent deficits on all achievement scores in comparison to children with mild-moderate TBI. Interactions of the slope and age parameters for the Arithmetic and Reading Decoding scores indicated greater increases over time in achievement scores of the children injured at an older age, but deceleration in growth curves for the younger children with both mild-moderate and severe TBI. These results are compatible with the hypothesis that early brain injuries disrupt the acquisition of some academic skills. Hierarchical regression models revealed that indexes of academic achievement obtained 2 years following TBI had weak relations with the duration of impaired consciousness and socioeconomic status. In contrast, concurrent cognitive variables such as phonological processing and verbal memory accounted for more variability in academic scores. Given the significant and persistent decrement in basic academic skills in youth with severe TBI, it is clear that head-injured youth require intensive, long-term remediation and intervention not only of the academic skills themselves, but also of those cognitive abilities that support the development and maintenance of reading and math.

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