GENDER DIFFERENCES IN POSTCONCUSSIVE SYMPTOMS OF SPORT-RELATED CONCUSSIONS IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
GRETENCORD ROY, ASHLEY ALINE
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Current research on concussions indicates that both younger age and female gender are associated with a greater number of symptoms and a lengthier postconcussive recovery time. The aim of this research was to examine postconcussive symptoms (PCS) resulting from a sports-related concussion in both male and female children/adolescents. Data was collected using neuropsychology measures (Auditory Consonant Trigrams Test, Conners' Continuous Performance Test-2nd edition, Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement- Third Edition, and Behavior Assessment System for Children-2nd edition) and a neurological evaluation. Participants included 132 children/adolescents (10-18 years) who had sustained a sports-related concussion. Results indicated evidence of subtle, but clinically significant, impairments in executive functioning. This was particularly true for those with a premorbid attention, learning, and/or mood disorder. In addition, a history of previous concussions was associated with a higher number of reported cognitive PCS. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for each of the dependent measures. As predicted, female gender was associated with increased executive dysfunction and a higher report of cognitive and emotional/behavioral PCS. Contrary to hypotheses, younger age was associated with less executive dysfunction and fewer reported cognitive PCS. No interaction between age and gender was identified. Implications of the findings are discussed.