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Traumatic brain injury and adverse psychological effects: Examining a potential pathway to aggressive offending

NCJ Number
Aggressive Behavior Volume: 46 Issue: 3 Dated: 2020 Pages: 254-265
Date Published
12 pages

This study used the Pathways to Desistance data set (n = 416) to examine the pathway of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to aggressive offending through adverse psychological effects. 


Contemporary scholarship has demonstrated an association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) during adolescence and aggressive offending. Research, however, has yet to identify any mechanisms linking TBI to subsequent aggressive offending. Consequently, the current study hypothesized that adverse psychological effects is one such pathway. The findings of the structural equation model supported the hypothesized association. Specifically, increased exposure to TBI was indirectly associated with aggressive offending through adverse psychological effects. An additional supplemental analysis illustrated that a direct link between TBI and aggressive offending did not exist for the analytical sample. The findings suggest that the neurological disruptions commonly associated with TBI could result in direct increases in negative psychological outcomes and indirect increases in subsequent negative behavioral outcomes. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020