Effects of Cultural Factors in Sports-Related Concussion Testing Performance of Collegiate Athletes
Torres, Gabriela Andrea González
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The purpose of the current study was to explore potential differences in preseason baseline concussion testing between an ethnically and linguistically diverse sample of Division 2 NCAA collegiate student-athletes. A value-added second aim was to create awareness regarding the implications of multiculturalism as it relates to neuropsychological testing of sport related concussions. This study is part of a, slow yet steady, growing body of research concerning diversity issues within the sport setting. 479 Division II collegiate athletes from the Florida Institute of Technology were assessed during mandatory preseason baseline testing. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3rd Edition (SCAT-3), the Rey Word Recognitions Test, the Rey Dot counting Test, and the Patient Health Questionnaire were used to identify neurocognitive as well as behavioral and emotional functioning differences between individuals with different first languages, as well as from self-reported diverse ethnic backgrounds. Multivariate comparisons between groups yielded significant findings between neuropsychological test performance on commonly used sports related concussion measures and ethnicity. Furthermore, first language demonstrated to be a significant factor in Immediate and Delayed recall tasks of the SCAT-3. The author concluded that significant findings were overall small and mainly observed in individual tasks and subscales and not often seen in the overall total or composite scores of the various measures. Other findings demonstrated improved memory abilities in English as a second language speakers when compared to English as a first language student-athletes. This result may be of clinical relevance and warrants further research.