Psychosocial Outcomes of Sport Concussions in Youth Hockey Players

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The objective is to evaluate the psychological outcomes arising from sport concussions. Participants included AA and AAA level Bantam and Midget hockey players (n = 672) between 12 and 17 years of age (mean = 15.0 years; SD = 1.2) enrolled in a large cohort study. All participants completed baseline tests including the Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd Edition (BASC2) and a pre-season medical questionnaire (PSQ) completed by parents that included a retrospective report of prior concussions and injuries. Players were assigned to 4 groups: no injury (NONE), concussion (CO) and musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries or both (COMB). Participants in the CO and COMB groups demonstrated significantly higher rates of psychological difficulties compared with other groups [F(63, 1800) = 1.43, p = .016, partial η2 = 0.05) and on select clinical scales measuring atypicality, locus of control, anxiety, depression, sense of inadequacy, somatization, and attention. In addition, results from the composite clinical scales reached statistical significance for internalizing problems and emotional symptom index. Effect sizes were minimal with the exception of comparisons between the NONE and COMB groups where effect sizes were medium to large. Proportions above clinical cut-off scores set by the BASC2 were higher for the COMB group compared with CO, MSK, or NONE groups. Results suggest smaller percentage of youth may be more prone to psychological sequelae following concussion.

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