Personality Traits and Social Supports in Adolescents with Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms

Hamna Atif, Brianne Morgan, Kyle Tuohy, Monica Zukowski, Zachary Foster, Andrea Loeffert, Keith O. Yeates, Steven D. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine whether adolescents with persistent postconcussion symptoms (PPCS) differ from healthy peers in their personality traits and social supports. Setting: Specialty Concussion Clinic and Primary Care Clinic affiliated with an academic medical center. Participants: Ninety-seven adolescents (42 with PPCS, 55 healthy peers; age: 15 ± 2 years). Design: Participants completed a web-based survey that included medical and demographic characteristics, mechanisms of concussion, 10-item Big Five Inventory, and Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale. A Student's 2-tailed t test with multiple testing corrections was used to compare the youths with PPCS to healthy peers. Main Measures: The primary outcome was PPCS, defined by the presence of 2 or more concussion-related symptoms on the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), lasting for more than 4 weeks after initial injury. The secondary outcome was perceived personality traits and social support, based on the 10-item Big Five Inventory and the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale, respectively. Results: The PPCS group had higher neuroticism scores on their Big Five Inventory than healthy peers. They also reported less social support from teachers and classmates than healthy peers. Conclusion: Youths with PPCS report specific personality and social support characteristics that differ from their peers. These findings suggest that individual personality and school-based social supports may influence concussion recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E71-E79
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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