Neuropsychological consequence of soccer play in adolescent U.K. School team soccer players

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Summer 2010;22(3):295-303. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2010.22.3.295.


To assess mild head injury effects in adolescent soccer players, neuropsychological performance across school team soccer players, rugby players and noncontact sport players was assessed in a quasi-experimental cross-sectional design. One hundred eighty-five males were tested (ages 13-16; response rate 55%) and 86 contributed data to the analyses after exclusion for recent concussion and overlapping sports participation. Soccer players showed lower premorbid intellectual functioning, but neither soccer players nor rugby players showed neuropsychological decrement compared with noncontact sport players. Cumulative heading did not predict neuropsychological performance. While no specific attribute of soccer was linked with neuropsychological impairment, head injury predicted reduced attention for all participants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Executive Function*
  • Football
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • United Kingdom