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My Research on Sports Related Concussions in Adolescents

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

My background and training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) afforded me the opportunity to complete a rotation in the Sports Medicine Division. Within this setting, I completed TBI assessments in children and adolescents who sustained concussion injuries. In most cases, injuries occurred during sports activities.

This unique training opportunity inspired my dissertation research, which centers on presentation among high school aged female athletes. Please feel free to download a poster (presented at the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology 2021) at the bottom of this page.

The research presented below was conducted by Dr. Neda Petz, Psy.D. and co-authored by Dr. Denise Rockwell, Ph.D., and Dr. Kenneth Hartline, Psy.D., ABPP-CN.

Sports Related Concussions Among Adolescent Female Athletes

Sports related concussions (SRCs) have been referred to as one of the most multifaceted and poorly understood injuries in sports medicine to diagnose and manage (McCrory et al., 2017). Notably, the management is SRCs is particularly challenging since data demonstrates that high school and collegiate level athletes are more likely to exhibit a delayed onset of symptoms as well as neuropsychological deficits that may not be present on the sideline (West & Marion, 2014).

This topic is especially relevant to female adolescent athletes due to the steady increase of their participation in sports, which has begun to substantially close the gender gap in sports membership (NFHS, 2018). Although SRCs are increasing among female adolescent athletes, the comparative consequences of male and female athletes are poorly understood, resulting in limitations in a scientific understanding and ensuing treatment of these injuries (Sicard, Moore, & Ellemberg, 2018). Despite the significance of this topic, there is a gap in the literature, with the majority of concussion research centered on male collegiate athletes and a paucity of individualized treatment methods that address the specific emotional, developmental, and physical needs of the female adolescent population.

Below you will find a brochure that can be used by parents and practitioners working with this population. It includes targeted recommendations in order to aid in the treatment and recovery of adolescent female athletes.


McCrory, P., Meeuwisse, W., Dvorak, J., Aubry, M., Bailes, J., Broglio, S., ... & Davis, G. A. (2017). Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. Br J Sports Med, bjsports-2017. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097699

National Federation of State High School Associations. (2018). High School Sports Participation Increases for 29th Consecutive Year. Retrieved from school-sports-participation-increases-for-29th-consecutive-year/

Sicard, V., Moore, R. D., & Ellemberg, D. (2018). Long-term cognitive outcomes in male and female athletes following sport-related concussions. International journal of psychophysiology, 132, 3-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.03.011

West, T. A., & Marion, D. W. (2014). Current recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of concussion in sport: A comparison of three new guidelines. Journal of Neurotrauma, 31(2), 159-168. doi: 10.1089/neu.2013.3031.

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Poster for American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology 2021
Download • 599KB

Concussion Brochure 04.15.19
Download PDF • 628KB

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