Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Frank Andrasik

Committee Member

Jennifer Wethe

Committee Member

Robert Neimeyer

Committee Member

Helen Sable


An increased undestanding of the cognitive effects following a sports-related concussion has led to improved concussion management and return-to-learn/play guidelines over the last decade. The majority of sports-related concussion research has examined group level differences; however, this methodology does not provide the information necessary to inform individualized treatment plans. The current study was conducted to help bridge the gap between the research literature and clinical management of concussed athletes by using within-individual statistical techniques to document normal variability in cognitive functioning from pre- to -post-season in athletes at different ages. We found that participation in a season of both low and high contact sports was not associated with cognitive deterioration. We did find that uninjured athletes with a pre-existing diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorder, or a history of two or more sports-related concussions were more likely that healthy, control athletes to display reliable cognitive change over teh course of the season in individual cognitive domains. However, once empirical methods for defining meaningful cognitive change were applied the athletes with a pre-existing neurologic condition did not meet criteria for cognitive change. We also found that athletes who experienced a sports-related concussion and who had a pre-existing diagnosis of either attention-deficit/hyperactivty disorder or two or more previous sports-related concussions reported mroe concussion symptoms and required a longer time before they could be returned to play.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.