U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Self-reported traumatic brain injury during key developmental stages: examining its effect on co-occurring psychological symptoms in an adjudicated sample

NCJ Number
Brain Injury Dated: 2020
Date Published

This study tested the hypotheses that self-reported TBI is associated with adverse psychological effects (H1), that  self-reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) during adolescence is associated with both immediate and delayed adverse psychological effects (H2), and that self-reported TBI during the early stages of adulthood is not associated with immediate psychological effects (H3). 


Prior research has demonstrated that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with individual psychological symptoms. These findings, however, may not pertain to the influence of TBI during key developmental stages on the co-occurrence of negative psychological symptoms. The current study employed a sample of adjudicated youth (N: 419 to 562) and structural equation modeling to estimate the association between self-reported TBI and subsequent adverse psychological effects. Findings indicated that higher levels of self-reported TBI during adolescence were associated with higher levels of adverse psychological effects. These effects were both immediate and delayed; however, higher levels of self-reported TBI during adulthood were not associated with immediate adverse psychological effects. Overall, the findings suggest that deleterious outcomes related to self-reported TBI during key developmental stages include proximal and long-term adverse psychological effects. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020