Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Higher risk-taking behavioursbehaviors and sensation seeking needs in collegiate student-athletes with a history of multiple sport-related concussions
  1. Erica Beidler1,
  2. Tracey Covassin2,
  3. MB Donnellan3,
  4. Sally Nogle2,
  5. Matthew B Pontifex2,
  6. Anthony P Kontos4
  1. 1Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  2. 2Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  3. 3Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  4. 4University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Objective To investigate differences in risk-taking behaviours and sensation seeking needs between collegiate student-athletes with and without a history of sport-related concussion (SRC).

Design Cross-sectional quantitative study.

Setting Four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) universities.

Participants A total of 1,398 (68%) of 2,055 collegiate student-athletes completed the survey. There were 146 participants excluded due to: age<18, current SRC/acute musculoskeletal injury, SRC within 3-months, non-NCAA, non-SRC, and incomplete survey. Therefore, 1,252 subjects from 18 sports were included.

Assessment of risk factors A10-minute survey was administered that included demographic information, SRC history, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) for risk-taking, and Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS). The independent variable was SRC history: 0(n=938), 1(n=205), 2+(n=109).

Outcome measures The dependent variables were BIS total risk-taking impulsivity and BSSS total sensation seeking scores.

Main results Significant differences were found between SRC groups for the totalrisk-taking impulsivity [F(1,227)=7.15,p=0.00] and sensation seeking [F(1,214)=4.53,p=0.01] variables. Total risk-taking impulsivity was significantly higher for the 2+ SRC group compared to the 0 SRC group (MD±95%CI=0.18 ± 0.11,p=0.00) and the 1 SRC group (MD±95%CI=0.15 ± 0.12,p=0.02). Total sensation seeking scores were significantly higher for the 2+ SRC group compared to the 0 SRC group (MD±95%CI=0.19 ± 0.17, p=0.03).

Conclusions Total risk-taking and sensation seeking scores were higher for collegiate student-athletes with a history of multiple SRC. This finding could be useful when implementing behaviour modifications for safer play. Future longitudinal research should adopt a pre-/post-test design to determine if increased risk-taking and sensation seeking are SRC risk-factors or if multiple SRCs cause an increase in psychological variables.

Competing interests None.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.