Personality Predictors of Sports-Related Concussion Incidence: Analysis of Data From a Large, Heterogeneous Undergraduate Sample

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Aug 1;101(8):738-745. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001901. Epub 2021 Oct 1.


Objective: Studies investigating the associations between personality and sports-related concussion are limited. The current study aimed to address this gap by examining whether specific personality dimensions predicted self-reported sports-related concussion outcomes.

Design: This study included 1141 undergraduate students ( Mage = 19.47, SD = 2.14, female = 64.5%) who completed a battery of online personality measures and self-reported sports-related concussion items. The self-reported sports-related concussion outcomes included a single diagnosed sports-related concussion incident (i.e., "diagnosed sports-related concussion incidence") and incidents of multiple diagnosed sports-related concussions (i.e., "multiple diagnosed sports-related concussion incidents"). Analyses included splitting data randomly into training and validation data sets. Multivariate logistic regression models were then fit to each data set to determine predictors of sports-related concussion.

Results: In both training and validation data sets, extraversion and experience seeking were found to be positively and most strongly associated with both sports-related concussion outcomes, whereas motor inhibition was found to be negatively associated with both outcomes. Additional personality dimensions showed differential relations with each sports-related concussion outcome.

Conclusions: The current study highlights the importance of considering personality dimensions in the context of self-reported sports-related concussion outcomes, as there are differential relations between personality dimensions and these outcomes. Thus, prevention efforts for sports-related concussion may benefit from evaluating additional athlete factors, like personality traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries* / complications
  • Brain Concussion* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Personality
  • Sports*
  • Students