Direct Verbal Communication by Parents, Pressure Related to Sport Achievement, and Concussion Safety in Youth Football

J Health Commun. 2019;24(10):770-779. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2019.1668512. Epub 2019 Oct 31.


Direct verbal communication from parents about concussion safety and parent pressure related to sport achievement may influence concussion risk-related behavior among youth athletes. This study assessed whether less parental pressure related to sport achievement and more parental communication about concussion safety were associated with lower intentions to continue sport participation while experiencing concussion symptoms. Participants were youth football players (ages 10-14) and their parents (n = 278 dyads, response rate = 45%). Structural equation modeling was used to predict the athlete's intention to continue play with concussive symptoms. One quarter of parents had never talked with their child about any concussion safety topic, and more than half had not talked about concussion safety within the past year. Greater parent communication about concussion and less pressure on sport achievement were both associated with lower child intention to continue playing while symptomatic post-concussion. Parents who placed more pressure on their child related to sport achievement were less likely to talk about concussion safety with their child. Determining how to shape parenting that is supportive of concussion safety is an important avenue for future health education program development work. This may include efforts to parenting behaviors in the sport context that reinforce effort rather than winning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Athletes / statistics & numerical data
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Brain Concussion*
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Football*
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Safety*