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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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

External organisations

  • Sheffield University
  • University of Exeter


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

Materials and 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 TBI. 

Results: Symptoms related to TBI 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, TBI 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 TBI is required in education and criminal justice systems.


• Highlights traumatic brain injury as a contributory factor in some education to offending pathways, suggesting that greater focus on rehabilitation within the education and criminal justice systems is required.

•  Reinforces that greater understanding of educational pathways post-injury is needed to better facilitate rehabilitation within the school system.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2412-2421
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number17
Early online date7 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2020


  • Brain Injuries, post-concussion syndrome, Educational Status, Schools, Crime, Criminals, educational status, schools, criminals, crime, Brain injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas