Relationship of athletic and academic identity to concussion reporting intentions

Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman, Taylor S. Lane, Monica R. Lininger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Understanding concussed athletes' motivations for reporting concussion symptoms is important for health care professionals who are charged with the care, management, and prevention of future injury. Objectives: To examine if athletic and academic identity predict concussion symptom reporting intentions above and beyond traditional socio-cognitive predictors. Design: Cross-sectional study using self-report measures during the 2016 collegiate football season. Method: In a sample of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I American football athletes (N = 205) we examined the relationship of athletic and academic identity with three indices of symptom reporting behavior: reporting during a game, reporting 24 h after a game, and reporting on behalf of a teammate. We used descriptive statistical analyses, correlations, and linear regression to examine hypotheses. Results: Controlling for traditional predictors, athletic identity was associated with a lower likelihood to report symptoms during a game (β = −0.22, t = −3.28, p <.001) or within 24 h (β = −0.28, t = −4.12, p <.001). Academic identity was positively associated with reporting intentions during a game (β = 0.12, t = 1.68, p <.05), 24 h later (β = 0.13, t = 1.85, p <.05), and on behalf of a teammate (β = 0.22, t = −3.36, p <.001). Conclusions: Athletic and academic identities offer additional insight into athletes' motivation for concussion symptom reporting intentions, above and beyond traditional socio-cognitive predictors. Discussion focuses on the benefit of incorporating these important self-identities into educational health interventions to improve their impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Academic identity
  • Athletic self-identity
  • Concussion-reporting intentions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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