Title

Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes in Youth Athletes in High Risk and Low Risk Sports

Date of Award

1-1-2020

Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)

Department

Department of Counselor Education and Human Services

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Susan Davies

Abstract

Previous research related to concussion knowledge and attitudes has focused mostly on adult athletes. There is a gap in research examining concussion knowledge and attitudes in youth. Concussions that occur in youth can have enduring effects, especially if more than one concussion occurs before the brain has had a chance to fully heal. Higher levels of concussion knowledge can lead to better responses and behaviors should a concussion occur, potentially limiting the long-term effects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine levels of concussion knowledge and attitudes towards concussions in youth athletes who participate in high risk and low risk sports. Participants were ages 9-14 selected from a suburban elementary and middle school. Risk by sport was identified and categorized based on existing research. Participants completed a modified version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey-Student Version (ROCKAS-ST) survey containing questions related to fact-based concussion knowledge and behavior-based concussion attitudes. Surveys were examined and scored with each participant receiving and knowledge index score and attitudes index scores. Results indicated concussion knowledge was lacking among participants; however, overall attitudes were in the acceptable range. There was no significant difference in the amount of concussion knowledge or attitudes between athletes in high risk versus low risk sports. Additionally, older participants (ages 13-14) had more appropriate attitudes towards concussions than the other participants (9-12), indicating they would demonstrate appropriate behaviors if they ever sustained a concussion, but there was no difference in the level of knowledge between the various age groups. Results of this study addresses the gap in research examining concussion knowledge in youth of different ages and in different types of sports. While participants had some knowledge, more is likely needed to ensure appropriate behaviors and responses if a youth athlete sustains a concussion, especially those who participate in high risk sports.

Keywords

Education, Psychology, Concussion, Youth, Athletes, Knowledge, Attitudes

Rights Statement

Copyright 2020, author

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