Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Research Articles

Dimensions of postconcussive symptoms in children with mild traumatic brain injuries


a1 Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, and the Center for Biobehavioral Health, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

a2 Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio

a3 Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio


The dimensions of postconcussive symptoms (PCS) were examined in a prospective, longitudinal study of 186 8 to 15 year old children with mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Parents and children completed a 50-item questionnaire within 2 weeks of injury and again at 3 months after injury, rating the frequency of PCS on a 4-point scale. Common factor analysis with target rotation was used to rotate the ratings to four hypothesized dimensions, representing cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. The rotated factor matrix for baseline parent ratings was consistent with the target matrix. The rotated matrix for baseline child ratings was consistent with the target matrix for cognitive and somatic symptoms but not for emotional and behavioral symptoms. The rotated matrices for ratings obtained 3 months after injury were largely consistent with the target matrix derived from analyses of baseline ratings, except that parent ratings of behavioral symptoms did not cluster as before. Parent and child ratings of PCS following mild TBI yield consistent factors reflecting cognitive and somatic symptom dimensions, but dimensions of emotional and behavioral symptoms are less robust across time and raters. (JINS, 2009, 15, 19–30.)

(Received April 08 2008)

(Reviewed October 08 2008)

(Accepted October 10 2008)