Concussion attitudes, behaviors, and education among youth ages 12-17: Results from the 2014 YouthStyles survey

J Safety Res. 2018 Feb;64:163-169. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2017.12.001. Epub 2017 Dec 16.


Introduction: This study assessed young athletes' (ages 12 to 17) concussion attitudes and behaviors, particularly their self-reported experience learning about concussion and intentions to report a concussion and disparities in these experiences.

Methods: We used data from Porter Novelli's 2014 YouthStyles survey that is conducted each year to gather insights about American consumers.

Results: Of the 1,005 respondents, 57% reported sports participation. Fourteen percent reported they may have had a previous concussion, and among them 41% reported having a concussion more than once while playing sports. Males (17.7%) were significantly more likely to report having a concussion than females (10.0%; χ2 (1)=7.01, p=0.008). Fifty-five percent of respondents reported having learned about what to do if they think they may have a concussion, and 92% reported that they would tell their coach if they thought they sustained a concussion while playing youth or high school sports. Youth from higher income families ($75,000-$124,999) were significantly more likely than youth from lower income families (less than $35,000) to report that they learned about what do if they suspected that they had a concussion.

Conclusion: Age of athlete, parental income level, athlete's sex, and living in a metro versus non-metro area led to disparities in athletes' concussion education. There is a need for increased access to concussion education and an emphasis on customizing concussion education efforts to meet the needs of different groups.

Practical application: We identified athletes' self-reported previously sustained concussions and predictors of education related to concussion. Further research is needed to explore the age, gender and income gaps in concussion education among athletes.

Keywords: Adolescent; Attitude; Behavior; Concussion; Knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Attitude*
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Educational Status*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Psychology, Adolescent / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • United States