Psychosocial Outcomes of Sport Concussions in Youth Hockey Players
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. (March 2016).