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Neuropsychologia. 2019 Jan 3;124:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.01.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Childhood socioeconomic status predicts cognitive outcomes across adulthood following traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Think+Speak lab, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: scohenzime@sralab.org.
2
Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Think+Speak lab, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: zkachian@gmail.com.
3
School of Systems Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; Cognitive Science Department, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
5
Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Think+Speak lab, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL, USA; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the association between childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and the level and rate of change in intelligence scores throughout adulthood following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

METHODS:

In this longitudinal study we tested 186 patients with TBI and 54 healthy controls from the Vietnam Head Injury Study. Childhood SES was determined for each participant based on parental educational attainment and occupational prestige. General intelligence was initially assessed pre-injury upon induction into the military, and again 15, 35 and 40+ years post-injury. We examined whether childhood SES, total brain volume loss and lesion laterality can predict post-injury intelligence scores and the rate of change in those scores between study phases.

RESULTS:

For both participants with and without TBI, childhood SES accounted for a significant portion of the variance in intelligence scores pre-injury and in all three post-injury evaluations, however, it was not associated with the rate of cognitive change. Lastly, childhood SES predicted cognitive outcome among patients with left hemisphere damage better than it did for right hemisphere damage patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide the first evidence indicating the persistent effects of childhood SES on intelligence scores later in adulthood following a TBI. Childhood SES should be considered when predicting and assessing cognitive recovery following TBI, even when the injury occurred in adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Intelligence; Longitudinal study; Socioeconomic status; Traumatic brain injury

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