Send to

Choose Destination
J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2017 Nov/Dec;32(6):425-432. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000289.

Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury and the Associations With Risk Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: A Systematic Review.

Author information

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, United Kingdom (Ms Kennedy and Dr Munafò); and College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, United Kingdom (Ms Cohen).



To systematically review the evidence that childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with risk behavior in adolescence and young adulthood. Risk behavior included one or more of the following: use of substances, including alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances; involvement in criminal behavior; and behavioral issues with conduct.


A literature search was conducted using these terms: child, pediatric, traumatic brain injury, head injury, adolescent, psychosocial, antisocial, conduct, substance use. Studies describing original research were included if they reported outcomes over the age of 13 years in participants who sustained a TBI between birth and age 13 years.


Six journal articles were reviewed based on 4 separate studies. Three articles indicated a relationship between childhood TBI and increased problematic substance use in adolescence and young adulthood. Three articles supported an association between childhood TBI and later externalizing behavior; however, 2 articles did not support this link.


More research is warranted to explore the association between childhood TBI and later risk behavior as the relationship is not currently understood. Future research should build on existing longitudinal research with continued use of medical records for identifying TBI and inclusion of a non-brain-related trauma group to control for general injury effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center