Using the Integrated Behavioral Model to Determine Sport-Related Concussion Reporting Intentions Among Collegiate Athletes

Jeffrey J. Milroy, David L. Wyrick, Kelly L. Rulison, Lindsey Sanders, Brandon Mendenhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: A significant proportion of sport-related concussions goes unreported among adolescents, which can result in irreversible brain damage. It is critical to identify and intervene on factors that significantly impact concussion reporting. Methods: This study tests factors associated with collegiate athletes' intentions to (1) self-report concussion symptoms; (2) report another athlete's concussion symptoms; and (3) encourage others to report. Drawing on the Integrated Behavioral Model, predictors at the athlete level included perceived norms (bystander descriptive norms, injunctive norms, and subjective norms), attitudes (positive and negative expectancies about reporting and playing through a concussion and concussion reporting attitudes), personal agency (self-efficacy to recognize symptoms and communicate), and perceived coach communication. At the team level, coaches' self-reported communication was also included. Athletes (N = 1,858) and coaches (N = 254) at 16 colleges and universities completed Web-based surveys in 2016. Multilevel modeling accounted for the nesting of athletes within athletic team. Results: Bystander descriptive norms, positive reporting expectancies, concussion reporting attitudes, self-efficacy to communicate about a concussion, and athletes' perceptions of their coach's communication were positively associated with all three outcomes. By contrast, subjective norms were only positively associated with intentions to self-report and bystander reporting intentions, negative reporting expectancies were only associated with intentions to self-report, and positive and negative expectancies for playing through a concussion were only associated with intentions to self-report and bystander encouragement. Conclusions: In sum, multiple factors within the Integrated Behavioral Model predict reporting intentions and underscore the complexity of athletes' concussion reporting behaviors and offer guidance for the development of prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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