To investigate whether college students with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in childhood or adolescence show residual deficits in intellectual functioning, approaches to studying, or emotional stability.
Participants with a history of mild TBI and two control groups.
Volunteers were recruited from students taking an introductory psychology course.
79 students with a history of mild TBI, 75 students with a history of general anesthesia, and 93 students with no history of either TBI or general anesthesia.
Main Outcome Measures:
Participants carried out tests of verbal memory, nonverbal memory, verbal fluency, and nonverbal fluency; in addition, they completed a short form of the Approaches to Studying Inventory and the Symptom Checklist-90—Revised (SCL-90-R).
In comparison with the two control groups, the students with a history of mild TBI produced similar scores on the cognitive tests and similar orientations to studying. However, they showed a significantly higher level of emotional distress on the SCL-90-R.
College students with a history of mild TBI in childhood or adolescence are intellectually unimpaired and approach their studying in a similar manner to their uninjured classmates. Nevertheless, they report more severe distress in terms of their general personal and emotional functioning.