Demographic, parental, and personal factors and youth athletes' concussion-related knowledge and beliefs

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Currently, significant attention is focused on improving care for patients with concussions through legislative mandates that include educational interventions. Few researchers have examined young athletes' concussion knowledge and the factors that may influence their knowledge. Objective: To use the socioecological model to examine demographic, parental, and personal factors associated with youth athletes' knowledge of concussion. Our ultimate goal is to inform the planning and implementation of youth sport concussion-related interventions. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Gymnasium and classroom. Patients or Other Participants: North Carolina and Arizona youth athletes (n ¼ 225; age ¼ 8 to 15 years) active in football, boys' or girls' soccer, boys' or girls' ice hockey, or boys' or girls' lacrosse in 2012-2013. Main Outcome Measure(s): Participants completed a validated, self-administered survey. The intention and belief measures were guided by the theory of planned behavior. Perceptions of concussion and intention to seek care were examined using descriptive statistics. Athletes' concussion knowledge was modeled using linear regressions and generalized estimating equations, with child demographic and personal factors and parental knowledge and attitudes about concussion as predictors. Results: Geography, sport, parental attitudes toward concussion, and athlete age were associated with athlete knowledge in the univariable analyses (P, .10). In the multivariable model, geographic location (North Carolina versus Arizona, mean difference [MD] ¼ 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] ¼ 1.1, 3.2), sport (girls' soccer versus girls' lacrosse, MD ¼ 2.2, 95% CI ¼ 0.7, 3.6), more favorable parental attitudes toward concussion (MD ¼ 1.2 for a 2-standard deviation shift; 95% CI ¼ 0.3, 2.1), and older age (.12 years, MD ¼ 1.6; 95% CI ¼ 0.5, 2.6) were associated with better knowledge about concussion. Conclusions: Geographic location, sport, parental attitudes about concussion, and athlete's age influenced athletes' concussion-related perceptions, indicating the need to address multiple levels of the socioecological model when targeting youth sport interventions. Parental interventions that translate to an improved culture of youth sport by improving youth athletes' perceptions and experiences are key areas for future work.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.