Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 33 - 42   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2022.33

Research article
Association between Sensation-Seeking Behaviors and Concussion-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceived Norms, and Care-Seeking Behaviors among Collegiate Student-Athletes
Christine E. Callahan1,2, , Melissa K. Kossman3, Jason P. Mihalik1,2,4, Stephen W. Marshall4,5, Paula Gildner4, Zachary Y. Kerr1,2,4, Kenneth L. Cameron6,7, Megan N. Houston6, Martin Mrazik8, Johna K. Register-Mihalik1,2,4,9
Author Information
1 Matthew Gfeller Center, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of North Carolina, NC, USA
2 Human Movement Science Curriculum, Department of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA
3 School of Health Professions, University of Southern Mississippi, MS, USA
4 Injury Prevention Research Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA
5 Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA
6 John A. Feagin Jr. Sports Medicine Fellowship, Keller Army Hospital, United States Military Academy, NY, USA
7 Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, MD, USA
8 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, AB, Canada
9 STAR Heel Performance Laboratory, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Christine E. Callahan
✉ PhD Candidate in Human Movement Science, Matthew Gfeller Center. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2207 Stallings Evans Sports Medicine Center, USA
Email: chriscal@live.unc.edu
Publish Date
Received: 31-08-2021
Accepted: 27-10-2021
Published (online): 08-11-2021
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ABSTRACT

There are limited data connecting personality and behavioral tendencies and traits related to concussion care-seeking/disclosure behaviors and minimal research exists surrounding the relationship between risky behaviors, sensation-seeking, and concussion-related outcomes. This study examined the association between sensation-seeking and a student-athlete’s concussion-related knowledge, attitudes, perceived social norms, and concussion care-seeking/disclosure behaviors (intention to disclose concussion symptoms, perceived control over symptom disclosure, self-removal from play due to concussion symptoms, continued play with concussion symptoms, and disclosure of all concussions at the time of injury). The current study utilized a retrospective cohort of collegiate student-athletes at a single National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institution. Separate multivariable linear regression models estimating mean differences (MD) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) estimated the association between sensation-seeking and concussion knowledge, concussion attitudes, and perceived social norms. Separate multivariable binomial regression models estimating adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) and 95%CI estimated the association between sensation-seeking and intention to disclose concussion symptoms, perceived control over symptom disclosure, self-removal from play due to concussion symptoms, continued play with concussion symptoms, and disclosure of all concussions at the time of injury. All models were adjusted for sex, sport participation, and concussion history. Higher sensation-seeking was significantly associated with less favorable concussion attitudes (adjusted MD = -1.93; 95%CI = -3.04,-0.83), less favorable perceived social norms surrounding concussion (adjusted MD = -1.39; 95%CI = -2.06,-0.72), and continuing to play while experiencing concussion symptoms (adjusted PR = 1.50; 95%CI = 1.10, 2.06). Student-athletes with increased sensation-seeking could be at risk for failing to disclose a concussion, decreasing athlete safety and resulting in less optimal care post-injury. Results will inform future theory-based concussion education programs which consider behavioral tendencies and traits as well as sport culture to promote concussion care-seeking/disclosure and individualized interventions based on risky behavior engagement.

Key words: Mild traumatic brain injury, risky behaviors, concussion education, concussion, sensation-seeking, college athletes


           Key Points
  • Student-athletes’ sensation-seeking behaviors were associated with less favorable concussion attitudes, less favorable perceived social norms surrounding concussion, and continued play despite experiencing concussion symptoms.
  • Findings suggest student-athletes with increased sensation-seeking could be at risk for delayed concussion care-seeking or not seeking care at all, resulting in a longer clinical recovery, negatively impacting overall health.
  • Future research could investigate the impact that theory-based concussion education promoting positive sport culture and emphasizing behavioral tendencies associated with concussion care-seeking/disclosure behaviors have on injury reporting.
 
 
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