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Preliminary Examination of the Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement Among Military Service Members Enrolled in Postsecondary Education

Ness, Bryan M. PhD; Vroman, Kerryellen PhD

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: January/February 2014 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 33–43
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182a1cd4e
Original Articles

Objective: Delineate the effects of self-reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on self-regulated learning and academic achievement for university-enrolled military Service members.

Participants: Students (N = 192) from 8 regionally diverse universities, representing an estimated 6% of Service members enrolled across schools.

Setting: Public universities that are members of the Servicemember Opportunity College consortium.

Design: Cross-sectional study evaluating the relationships between self-reported TBI, PTSD, and self-regulated learning variables and their contribution to academic achievement.

Main Measures: Self-report of military service; symptoms of TBI and PTSD; self-regulation strategies including effort, time/environment regulation, and academic self-efficacy; and grade point average (GPA).

Results: There was no effect of self-reported TBI or PTSD on GPA, effort regulation, or time/environment regulation strategies; however, participants with TBI or PTSD reported significantly lower academic self-efficacy. Multiple regression analysis revealed self-efficacy was the strongest predictor of GPA among all participants, followed by military rank.

Conclusion: The sample consisted of high achieving students responsive to a university administrator, which raises the possibility of sampling bias. Because of the low recruitment rate for this study and lack of published research on this subject, replicating the results is necessary before drawing generalizable conclusions about the population.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (Dr Ness) and Department of Occupational Therapy (Dr Vroman), University of New Hampshire, Durham.

Corresponding Author: Bryan M. Ness, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of New Hampshire, 4 Library Way, 151 Hewitt Hall, Durham, NH 03824 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins