Psychological resilience, emotional symptoms, and recovery duration in adolescent sport-related concussion

Julia C. Nahman, Cody Staples, Lauren N. Irwin Harper, Luis Ahumada, Mohamed Rehman, Sarah Irani, P. Patrick Mularoni, Danielle M. Ransom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to explore the relation between resilience, emotional changes following injury, and recovery duration in sport-related concussion. Methods: Thirty-one high school student-athletes (ages 14–18) with sports-related injuries (concussion, n = 17 orthopedic injury, n = 14) were recruited from a pediatric sports medicine clinic. Participants completed self-report resilience ratings and self- and parent-reported post-concussion symptoms as part of a neuropsychological test battery. Hierarchical regression analyses examined predictors of recovery duration, including: (1) injury group and sex, (2) self- and parent-reported emotional symptom changes, and (3) resilience score. Results: Injury group and sex alone were not predictors of recovery duration (p =.60). When parent and patient reported emotional response to injury were added to the analysis, 35% of the variance in length of recovery was explained, making the model statistically significant (F (2.26) = 3.57, p =.019). Including resilience did not reach statistical significance (p =.443). Post hoc analysis revealed parent-report of emotional changes was significantly associated with recovery duration t(31) = 3.16, p <.01), while self-report was not (p =.54). Conclusions: Parent-reported emotional change plays a pivotal role in predicting recovery length among adolescents recovering from sport-related concussion and orthopedic injury. These pilot findings highlight the significance of caregiver input in the clinical exam and emphasize the potential for acute interventions supporting psychological resources to enhance recovery outcomes across adolescent sport-related injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Child
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Adolescent
  • athletes
  • caregivers
  • concussion
  • post-concussion syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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