Sport activities are commonly associated with incidents of
mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or
concussion. Because mTBI may cause disruption in normal psychological function, these
types of head injuries have particularly serious risks for youth, who
are still in the process of cognitive development.
A recent Canadian cohort study assessed the relationship between sports-related
concussion and psychological outcomes. More than 700 hockey players from
the ages of 12-17 completed the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-II,
a test designed to assess youth behavior and attention problems, learning
difficulties, and general mental health issues. Compared to players who
had never experienced a mTBI, children with sports-related concussion,
musculoskeletal injury, or both showed significantly higher rates of anxiety,
depression, attention difficulties, and other psychological problems.
Youth who participate in sports are at much higher risk for concussions.
During this crucial period of cognitive growth, proper identification
and treatment of sports-related mTBI is necessary for ensuring positive
psychological outcomes in the long term.
Source: Mrazik M, Brooks BL, Jubinville A, et al. Psychosocial outcomes
of sport concussions in youth hockey players. Clinical Neuropsychology.