Garner, Eriana Nicole (2018-03). The Impact of Concussion Information on Parents' Decision Regarding Child's Participation in Contact Sports. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • This study aimed to assess the impact of information about concussions on parents' decision to allow or not allow their child to participate in American (tackle) football and soccer (two of the most popular contact sports in America). The high rates of youth concussions have both medical personnel as well as sport managers concerned about concussions and how they impact health, participation levels at various stages, and parenting decisions. Following the Rational Choice Theory (RCT) parents are expected to make decisions for their child that will result in the greatest benefit to the child's overall health and well-being. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of information on participant decisions regarding their child's involvement in contact sports. Seventy (70) parents of youth ages five (5) and under were randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group. The control group was only given the survey and the experimental group was given the concussion fact sheet and the survey. Parents in the experimental group were significantly more likely to report intentions to delay their child's participation in soccer until after the age of six (6), and parents who had a female child were more likely to not allow their daughter to play American (tackle) football in comparison to parents who had a male child. The results from this study indicate that even when presented with concussion awareness information, parents are not always making decisions that result in the greatest benefit to their child's health and well-being. From a sport management perspective, this study makes it difficult for sport managers to justify spending money on concussion awareness for parents or coaches.

publication date

  • May 2018