Graduation Date

Spring 2019

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Kauyumari Sanchez

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Elizabeth Larson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Chris Aberson

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Reserve refers to the biological/cognitive differences between individuals that protect against cognitive changes following a single sports-related concussion (SRC). A single SRC can lead to brain damage and a loss of reserve. The ImPACT is a neurocognitive test which was used as a proxy for reserve. The Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), a symptom checklist, was used to examine symptoms. It was hypothesized that pre-SRC reserve would affect post-SRC reserve, so that those with higher pre-SRC reserves would demonstrate less change in their reserve after a single SRC compared to those with low pre-SRC reserves. It was also hypothesized that females would report more emotional, cognitive, and total symptoms than males, and that cognitive symptoms would be reported more frequently than other symptoms across participants. This study used data collected by the North Coast Concussion Program, which administers the ImPACT test and the PCSS to athletes at Humboldt State University prior to each athletic season. In the event of an SRC, the test is re-administered. It was found that participants (N = 129) with low pre-SRC reserves had better outcomes compared to those with high pre-SRC reserves, and that females reported more symptoms than males. This study is the first to examine the role of reserve in predicting outcome following a single SRC using a pretest-posttest design. The validity of the ImPACT test as a proxy for reserve as well as the test structure’s influence on administrative decisions was examined. The current study also expanded on research relating to sex’s influence on symptomatology following a single SRC.

Citation Style