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Concussions: Cognitive, Behavioral, & Emotional Distress in Students

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that approximately 2.5 million high school students in the United States reported suffering at least one concussion related to sports or physical activity in 2017. Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) analyzed survey data from more than 13,000 high school students in the country to study and report on the association between sports-related concussions and negative health implications among high school students.

According to one author of the study, “We have previously speculated that children who suffer a concussion have more behavioral problems, so this study was able to provide a more comprehensive analysis on the various cognitive and behavioral health issues that this population faces in connection with this type of brain injury.”

Study Methods

Participants in the study were asked how many times they had suffered a concussion while playing a sport or during physical activity in the last year. Students were also surveyed on relevant cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors and related health outcomes. This included questions on topics like academics, suicide, and substance abuse.

Study Findings

14.5% of female high school athletes and 18.1% of male high school athletes who participated in the study reported experiencing at least one concussion the last year. Additionally, the same students also reported at least one factor associated with their behavioral, cognitive, and emotional health. The questions on the survey covered the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drinking and driving
  • Binge drinking
  • Using tobacco or marijuana
  • Poor grades
  • Getting into a physical altercation
  • Carrying a weapon
  • Feeling depressed
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

33.8% of the male participants in the study who suffered at least one concussion reported they had driven a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the last 30 days. 19% of the female athletes who reported suffering more than one concussion said they had been involved in at least one physical altercation in the last year and were more likely to report having at least one concussion during that same timeframe.

According to co-author Scott Burkhart, a neuropsychologist at Children's Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine:

Parents need to understand that a concussion is a very serious brain injury, one which requires treatment every time a concussion is sustained. This study has revealed this type of traumatic brain injury can have a compounding effect on children that could lead to more aggressive behavior, academic problems, and social issues."

Consult with Our Concussion & TBI Attorney

At Scarlett Law Group, we understand that concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often have severe and long-term physical consequences. That is why we are committed to using our skills and knowledge to help clients pursue the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to for their injury damages.

Call us today at (415) 688-2176 or contact us online to schedule your case consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

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