Sport Motivation as a Possible Indicator of Concussion Reporting Intentions among Young Athletes

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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine


Objective:To assess the relationship between sport motivation and intentions to report concussion symptoms among young adult athletes.Design:Cross-sectional study (level of evidence: 3).Subjects:One thousand three hundred five young adult athletes of various sports and levels of competitiveness from the Survey Sampling International panel.Methods:Data were collected through an online survey. Ordinary least squares regression was used to examine the relationship between motivation and reporting intentions controlling for competitiveness and perceived risk of injury.Results:Athletes who play their sport for self-regulated (autonomous) reasons have higher intentions to seek care for concussion-like symptoms, whereas those who play to achieve gains external to the sport or avoid punishment (controlled motivation) have lower intentions. A one-point increase in autonomous motivation was associated with an 11.5-point increase in reporting intention (t = 6.629, P < 0.001), whereas a one-point increase in controlled motivation was associated with an 8.1-point decrease in reporting intention (t = -4.562, P < 0.001). Betas from the model suggested that autonomous motivation had a stronger effect than controlled motivation (0.226 vs -0.163).Conclusions:Innovation in care, concussion education, and cultivation of team culture supportive of autonomous motivation could increase concussion reporting. Measuring sport motivation may reveal which athletes require more proactive attention to ensure symptoms are not concealed. Furthermore, messages to reinforce autonomous motivation may increase willingness to report.

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