Motivations for under-reporting suspected concussions in collegiate athletics


Brenna Bird

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education & Human Services


Advisor: Susan Davies


Student athletes who have sustained concussions often fail to report signs and symptoms, thereby putting themselves at risk for delayed recovery and permanent impairment. The failure to alert coaches or teammates may occur for a variety of reasons. The present study examined the motivations behind refraining from reporting concussion symptoms among college athletes in high-risk sports enrolled at private Midwestern university. One hundred and ninety-three student athletes participating in high-risk sports, such as football and soccer, completed a multiple-choice survey inquiring if students report their suspected concussion symptoms and those of their teammates and the motivations behind refraining from reporting. Results indicated that approximately 38% - 45% of college athletes at the University did not report their suspected concussions during their collegiate athletic career and 50% of athletes did not report the suspected concussions of a teammate. In addition, results revealed that the top reason students failed to report their suspected concussions was that they didn't think it was serious enough. Suggestions are made for athletes, administrative athletic staff, and coaches to help insure that student athletes are aware of the seriousness of concussions, the signs and symptoms, and how to report suspected concussions appropriately.


Brain Concussion Reporting, Sports injuries Reporting, College sports Psychological aspects, Educational Psychology, Under-reporting Concussions, Motivations, Sports, Collegiate Athletics

Rights Statement

Copyright 2014, author