Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Athletic Training – Post Professional Concentration

Committee Chairperson

Daniel Baer, PhD, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Neil Curtis, EdD, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Alison Gardiner-Shires, PhD, LAT, ATC


Help-seeking behaviors among collegiate athletes are influenced by social norms and by the implicit and explicit expectations of others, including coaches, teammates, and parents. The purpose of this study was to investigate which social group has the greatest influence on collegiate athletes’ intentions to report sport-related concussion symptoms. In this cross-sectional study, 2,984 NCAA student-athletes from 22 colleges/universities across Pennsylvania completed anonymous online surveys related to concussion symptom reporting attitudes and behaviors. Of the 51 original items included in the survey, 21 items were included in this study, including demographic information, perceived social pressure, and intention to report concussion symptoms.

Multiple regression analysis revealed that collegiate athletes who perceived greater combined positive pressure from coaches, teammates, and parents demonstrated greater intention to report concussion symptoms. Of these three sources of social pressure, teammates had the greatest influence on intention to report, followed by parents and then coaches. Overall, females were slightly more likely to report concussion symptoms compared to males; however, when controlling for other variables, no statistically significant difference existed, suggesting that the small differences based on sex are more likely related to variables such as sport type and social pressure.

These results suggest that student-athletes who perceive greater positive social pressure will have greater intention to seek medical attention for concussion symptoms. Because teammates have the greatest influence on student-athletes’ intention to report concussion symptoms, these individuals may play an important role in creating a positive environment where symptom-reporting is encouraged.