College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Acute Intellectual Effects of Pediatric Head Trauma

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Publication Title

Child Neuropsychology

ISSN

0929-7049

Volume

5

Issue/No.

2

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

The current study compared Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) performances of 30 children who sustained head injury with the performance of orthopedic controls matched on gender, age, race, and parental education and occupational attainment. Children were followed during initial hospitalization, trauma severity variables were recorded, and duration of posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) was determined by serial testing of mental status. The WISC-III was administered immediately following resolution of amnesia. Although the majority of patients sustained mild injuries, children with head injuries obtained significantly lower IQ and factor scores than nonneurologically injured children. Consistent with past research, performance-based scores including Performance IQ, Perceptual Organization, and Processing Speed were more sensitive to head trauma than their verbal counterparts. Standardized measurement of PTA appeared to be a better predictor of IQ status following injury than Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission or length of unconsciousness.

DOI

10.1076/chin.5.2.104.3166