Effects of Sport-Related Concussion and Pre-Injury Neuropsychological Functioning on Academic Outcomes
AuthorColllins, Christina Lynn
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhile substantial literature exists regarding the neurocognitive sequelae of concussion and return to play determinations for student-athletes who have suffered a concussion, there is a paucity of research that has conceptualized the impact of concussion on common academic outcomes. This study examined these topics in an attempt to evaluate the impact of concussion on GPA and school attendance, the association of preinjury neurocognitive performance to changes in academic achievement following a concussion, as well as the relationship between baseline neurocognitive performance and academic outcomes. The change in monthly assignment GPA and attendance were analyzed for three comparison groups (concussion, other sport-related injuries, control) regarding their differences pre and post injury. Second, whether a student-athlete's performance on a computerized baseline neuropsychological assessment (ImPACT) moderated the change in monthly assignment GPA for a group of concussed student-athletes identified as either short recovery or long recovery was investigated. Lastly, the association between baseline ImPACT scores and cumulative GPA/standardized achievement measures was examined for the entire group of student- athletes. Results of this study indicated no systematic differences between comparison groups (concussion, control, and injury) with the change in pre and post injury monthly assignment GPA and daily attendance rates, although academic declines were evident among all student-athletes. Further analysis revealed that more athletes who experienced concussions evidenced a significant drop in GPA (> .5) than would be expected by chance. Contrary to expectations, baseline ImPACT assessment scores did not moderate the degree of academic decline for concussed student-athletes within the short or long recovery groups. Finally, baseline ImPACT composite scores were significantly related to general academic achievement outcomes. Specifically, the ImPACT Visual Memory, Visual Motor and Reaction Time Composite scores significantly predicted GPA. Standardized academic achievement scores as measured by the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (math, reading, writing and science) were all significantly predicted by the baseline ImPACT Visual Motor Composite score. This study highlights the risk factors that may lead to diminished academic performance for student-athletes and the pre-injury neurocognitive variables measured by ImPACT that predict academic performance for student-athletes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College