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J Clin Child Psychol. 1999 Jun;28(2):232-43.

Posttraumatic stress symptoms in children following orthopedic or traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7123, USA.


Examined posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms in children following pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). Children (ages 6-12) with TBI (n = 81) and orthopedic injury (OI; n = 59) were assessed 6 and 12 months postinjury. Parents of children with severe TBI reported higher levels of child PTS symptoms than did parents of children with moderate TBI or OI at the 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Group differences in child-reported PTS symptoms emerged at the 12-month follow-up with higher symptom levels reported by children with severe TBI than by those with moderate TBI or OI. At both follow-ups, rates of clinically significant symptom levels were higher in the severe TBI group than in the moderate TBI or OI groups. The group differences in parent and child reports were significant even after taking ethnicity, social disadvantage, and age at injury into account. Parent and child reports of child PTS symptoms were related to family socioeconomic status. Implications for clinical intervention with children and families following pediatric TBI are discussed.

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