The consequences of traumatic brain injury from the classroom to the courtroom: understanding pathways through structural equation modelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Betony Clasby
  • Nathan Hughes
  • Emma Hodges
  • Hannah Meadham
  • Darren Hinder
  • Huw Williams
  • Avril Mewse

External organisations

  • University of Sheffield
  • The University of Sheffield
  • University of Exeter


Background: Paediatric traumatic brain injury can have resultant ongoing significant impairments which can impact life outcomes. The primary aim of this research was to explore whether traumatic brain injury contributes to the relationship between poor educational outcomes and offending trajectories.

Methods: Through analysis of a dataset consisting of self-reported health, educational, and offending histories of 70 incarcerated young males, structural equation modelling was used to explore the mediation of educational outcomes and patterns in offending behaviour by chronic symptoms following traumatic brain injury.

Findings: Symptoms related to traumatic brain injury significantly mediated the relationship between decreased educational attainment and more frequent convictions. It did not mediate any relationships involving age at first conviction.

Conclusions: Traumatic brain injury appears to have more influence over frequency of offending patterns than age at first conviction. However, traumatic brain injury remains a pervasive factor in both higher rates of offending and poorer educational attainment. In order to tackle this effect on adverse social outcomes, greater attention to the impact of traumatic brain injury is required in education and criminal justice systems.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date7 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2019


  • Brain Injuries, post-concussion syndrome, Educational Status, Schools, Crime, Criminals