Correlates of the ImPACT Impulse Control Composite in a Non-Injured College Athlete Sample

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011 Mar;


Lynn, A. C., A. Rabinowitz and P. Arnett.



Objective: Research has shown that the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) battery is useful in diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion. However, the validity of the ImPACT’s Impulse Control Composite (ICC) has received little attention in the extant literature. The present study sought to validate the ICC, and explore its correlates. Participants and Methods: Five-hundred and fifty-five non-injured college athletes were administered a neuropsychological test battery, including the ImPACT, at baseline. Athletes were divided into three groups according to whether their ICC score was 1. Normal (less than sixteen; N=487), 2. High (between sixteen and thirty-nine; N=50), or 3. Extreme (greater than thirty; N=18). Results: One-way ANOVA revealed that ICC was related to measures of impulsivity—Stroop 1 Errors (F=3.7, p<.05) and Vigil Commissions (F=16.2, p<.001), and measures of speeded-attention—the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (F=6.4, p<.005), Stroop 1 Time (F=3.2, p<.05), and Vigil Omissions and Average Delay (F=6.2, p<.01; F=4.2, p<.05). ICC predicted performance on delayed memory tasks—Brief Visual Memory Test (F=5.1, p<.01) and Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test—Story Memory (F=4.7, p<.05). ICC group was also related to the Computerized Assessment of Response Bias (F=4.3, p<.05), and a measure of current distress (F=4.20, p<.05). Those in the high ICC group were most likely to report a diagnosis of ADHD (χ2=16.5, p<.005). Conclusions: Findings suggest that the ICC is a valid measure of impulsivity. Impulsive responding at baseline was related to ADHD diagnosis, current distress, sub-optimal motivation, and poorer performance on other tasks of impulsivity, as well as memory tasks. Clinical implications will be discussed.

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