Graduation Date

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology, option Exercise Science

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Justus Ortega

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Sheila Alicea, P.h.D., CMPC

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Elizabeth Larson, MS

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Kinesiology

Abstract

This study explored the effects of contact and limited contact sport participation on neurocognitive function in non-concussed collegiate and adolescent athletes over time. Athletes participating in contact and limited contact sports have an increased risk of sustaining neurocognitive injuries, known as subconcussive blows, compared to non-contact sport athletes. We hypothesized that athletes participating in contact and limited contact sports, would exhibit a deficit in neurocognitive function following multiple seasons of play when compared to athletes participating in non-contact sports. Using a mixed repeated measures MANOVA statistical design, we analyzed computerized neurocognitive baseline ImPACT composite scores (verbal memory, visual memory, visual motor processing speed, reaction time, and total symptoms scores) over a four-year period in contact sport athletes (n=1791), limited contact sport athletes (n=364) and non-contact sport athletes (n=116). Over a four-year period, contact and limited contact sport athletes did not significantly differ in overall neurocognitive function compared to non-contact sport athletes over time (p = .0894). However, athletes participating in contact sports and limited contact sports exhibit slower visual motor processing speed and reaction time compared to non-contact sport athletes. Although subconcussive blows may lead to more long-term impairment of brain function, the effect of contact sport participation on brain function is less evident over a shorter three to four-year period.

Citation Style

APA

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