Date of Award
Master of Science
Health and Human Performance
Exercise Science (MS)
Concussion is the most common traumatic brain injury in the United States, and is thought to lead to adverse effects on mental health. No studies to date have examined mental health throughout concussion recovery. This project examined the effect of concussion on three aspects of mental health: anxiety (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale), depression (Beck’s Depression Inventory), and aggression, (Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire) at three time points (baseline, mid-season, and postseason) and if the athlete had a concussion, they completed the questionnaire once upon diagnosis, bi-weekly until return-to-play, and bi-weekly for two weeks after being cleared for participation. Each concussion showed an initial increase and then decrease in mental health symptoms throughout recovery. Additionally, a total of six athletes who participated in this research (baseline, midseason and postseason) sought mental health treatment as a result of this project. This research shows a need for the tracking of mental health symptoms for both concussed and non-concussed athletes throughout the competition season. Administration of these mental health questionnaires is a practice that could be integrated into multiple sports, and allow for athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals to ensure the best possible mental and physical health care for athletes.
Clark, Haley M., "Concussion and Mental Health: Case Series" (2022). All NMU Master's Theses. 719.