A new study is showing that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect teen girls differently than teen boys.
The study gathered data from more than 9,000 students from grades 7 through 12, and researchers determined that 1 in 5 of those teens had suffered a TBI in their lifetime. Their findings were published in PLOS ONE, a popular medical journal.
How Do Kids Get Brain Injuries?
Organized sports are a popular pastime for boys and girls alike, but they are also the most common cause of TBIs in teens. Studies have shown that concussions are more common among boys, but girls can still sustain brain injuries in sports like basketball, volleyball and even cheerleading.
After a TBI, researchers found that young girls were more likely to report having contemplated suicide, experienced psychological distress or been the target of bullying. Boys reported psychological issues as well, but at a much lower rate.
TBIs can cause behavioral and psychological problems in either gender. Overall, students who experienced a brain injury reported higher levels of binge drinking, marijuana use, cyberbullying and poor grades than other young adults.
The results of the study were self-reported, so researchers could not determine why girls were impacted differently. However, they are still hopeful that the study will help bolster the collective knowledge of brain injuries and inform further research.
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