A Study of New York High School Coaches and their Views on Student Athletes and the Risk of Concussion in Sports
By: Ajala L. Williams
Published: 5/18/2016
Uploaded: 06/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2016 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Athlete, Concussion, Education, Health behavior, New York State, youth

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Description/Abstract: This study used a convenience sample (N=83) of mostly New York State (n=80), White (80.7%, n=67), male (60.2%, n=50), head coaches (72.3%, n=60) on the varsity level (68.7%, n=49) to investigate predictors of ability and self-efficacy to adhere to concussion management guidelines. Some 86.70% (n=72) of coaches had taken the CDCs Heads Up, Concussion in Youth Sports free online training; and, 74.70% had taken this CDC training every two years since becoming a coach, as per requirements. Despite CDC training, and the coaches having attended a mean of 3.58 presentations that devoted some portion to concussions, the sample of coaches evidenced a somewhat low level of knowledge regarding those students at risk for prolonged recovery from a concussion. Yet, the coaches also evidenced high ability and high self-efficacy for adherence to concussion management guidelines; and, very good awareness of and very high impact from concussion policies, laws and media. However, they only reported moderate adherence by their high school to pre-season check-list practices. Coaches perceived a moderate degree of honesty on the part of student athletes about having a possible concussion with the intention to continue playing with concussion symptoms. Fortunately, coaches indicated high accurate concussion knowledge, and high knowledge for correctly identifying concussion symptoms, as well as a very high level of adherence to stop play guidelines/refusal to return to play athletes with concussion symptoms. Across two backward stepwise regression models, recurrent predictors of both high ability and high self-efficacy to adhere to concussion guidelines were older age, less years coaching, higher number of concussion presentations attended, and higher level of adherence to stop play guidelines/refusal to return to play athletes with concussion symptoms. Thus, the study findings provide a portrait of the coach with higher adherence to concussion management guidelines: i.e., one with greater maturity in age, while having less years engaged in coaching, and exposure to a higher number of concussion presentations in addition to possessing a greater willingness to refuse to return to play athletes with concussion symptoms.Qualitative data complimented these findings. Implications and recommendations are discussed for decreasing concussion risk for high school athletes.