Traumatic Brain Injury and School Readiness Among Preschool-Aged Children in the United States

Dylan B. Jackson, Alexander Testa, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study is to examine the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and school readiness using a nationally representative sample of preschool-aged children in the United States. Methods: Using data on 15,402 preschool-aged children (ages three to five years) from the 2016 to 2018 cohorts of the National Survey of Children's Health, this study investigates the association between lifetime measure of TBI in children and four domains of school readiness: early learning skills, self-regulation, social-emotional development, and physical health/motor development. Results: Among this sample of preschool-aged children, 252 (1.64%) had experienced a TBI during their lifetime. Within school readiness domains, TBI was associated with a 62% to 99% increase in the rate of needs support/at-risk items and a 129% to 322% increase in the rate of at-risk items, contingent on the exact domain examined. Additional analyses reveal that, net of covariates, TBI reduced the predicted probability of being on-track across all four domains from approximately 0.424 for children with no history of TBI to 0.224 for children with a history of TBI. Conclusions: A history of TBI was associated with reductions in school readiness within and across domains. Facilitating better communication between parents, pediatricians, and schools about both TBI and responses to TBI may result in the implementation of services and individualized, tailored instructional approaches that can improve educational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Children
  • Preschool
  • School readiness
  • TBI
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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