All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Laura E Dreer

Advisory Committee Members

Olivio J Clay

James M Johnston

Thomas A Novack

David C Schwebel

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Many children who experience concussions are faced with injury-related neurocognitive deficits. The reintegration of these children back into sports is controversial, yet little is known empirically about the effects concussions have on school re-entry and subsequent academic performance. Concussion symptom assessment instruments such as the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool – 3rd Edition (SCAT-3) are often used to guide decisions regarding the return to sports and re-integration to school; however, knowledge regarding the relationship between this tool and aspects of cognitive functioning is limited. Return to school, often termed “return to learn” in the literature, is a relatively new phenomenon that has rarely been studied empirically. Understanding predictors of return to learn issues are needed to inform systems of care including parents, school professionals, medical professionals, sports facilitators, and youths themselves. The objective of this study is to address gaps in the literature by 1) conducting a literature review of return to learn issues among children with concussions and 2) examining predictors of the time it takes an individual to return to the classroom full-time. Finally, to determine the predictive utility of a commonly used concussion assessment tool, the study explores the relations between the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT-3) and neuropsychological functioning among concussed children.

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