Megan Byrd

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Sam Zizzi

Committee Co-Chair

Damien Clement

Committee Member

Edward Etzel

Committee Member

Anthony Kontos


The impacts and effects of sport-related concussion have been considered a major health concern as early as 1999 (Kelly, 1999) and have continued to be a prominent topic of controversy among all levels of sport. Amidst this concern and controversy, the emotional impacts of sport-related concussion, particularly anxiety, anger, and impulsivity are still relatively unknown. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sport concussions and anger, anxiety, and impulsivity in collegiate athletes. The secondary purpose of this study was to determine if there is a subset of athletes who are more likely to exhibit certain emotions based on pre-existing risk factors, or the manner in which the concussion was sustained. The study utilized a multi-method, longitudinal design and was sequential in nature. Participants were male and female collegiate athletes and completed the study during three time points: (a) 1 to 10 days post-diagnosis (n = 30) (b) 11 to 21 days post-concussion (n = 12), and (c) 30 days post-concussion (n = 10). Slightly more than half (n =16) of athletes reported self or others noticing a difference in their behavior or mood since sustaining a concussion and the mean on all measures were above norms for college aged men and women during time point a. Most notably, 11 out of 30 athletes scored above a 10 on the clinical anxiety measure, indicating a diagnosable level of anxiety for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Overall, the results indicated that the athletes were experiencing anxiety, anger, and impulsivity following concussion and anxiety seemed to be the mediating factor. The more anxious athletes felt regarding their symptoms and symptomology, the more it seemed to influence their frustration and behavior. Results indicated that the athletes believed they would benefit from education regarding the affective symptoms of concussions and that rehabilitation of concussions should be tailored to each athletes' symptomology.