Gender Differences in Symptom Reporting on Baseline Sport Concussion Testing Across the Youth Age Span

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2018 Feb;

Moser, R. S. O., L.; Schatz, P..

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Abstract:

Background: Little is known regarding gender differences in concussion symptom reporting developmentally across the age span, specifically in pre-adolescent athletes. The present study asks: Do boys and girls differ in symptom reporting across the pre-adolescent to post-adolescent age span? Method: This retrospective study utilized baseline assessments from 11,695 10-22 year-old athletes assigned to 3 independent groups: Pre-adolescent 10-12 year olds (n = 1,367; 12%), Adolescent 13-17 year olds (n = 2,974; 25%), and Late Adolescent 18-22 year olds (n = 7,354; 63%). Males represented 60% of the sample. Baseline ImPACT composite scores and Post-Concussion Symptom Scale scores (Total, Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Sleep) were analyzed for the effects of age and gender. Results: Statistically significant main effects were found for age and gender on all ImPACT composites, Total Symptoms, and Symptom factors. Significant interaction effects were noted between age and gender for all ImPACT composites, Total Symptoms, and Symptom factors. Total Symptoms and all Symptom factors were highest in adolescents (ages 13-17) for males and females. In the 10-12 age group, females displayed lower Total Symptoms, Physical, and Sleep factors than males. Conclusion: The notion of females being more likely than males to report symptoms does not appear to apply across the developmental age span, particularly prior to adolescence. Females show greater emotional endorsement across the youth age span (10-22 years). Adolescence (13-17 years) appears to be a time of increased symptomatology that may lessen after the age of 18.

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