Social Cognition in Sports-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Prof Doc Thesis

York-Smith, M. 2019. Social Cognition in Sports-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsYork-Smith, M.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Introduction: There is increasing interest in the potential long-term consequences of sports-related concussion (SRC). Research indicates that SRC is associated with cognitive, behavioural and emotional outcomes. Additionally, studies show SRC is associated with increased risk for neurodegeneration such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (Manley et al., 2017). Although behavioural and personality changes such as emotional lability, apathy and increased aggression in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) such as SRC and neurodegenerative conditions are well documented, understanding of these changes is poorly understood. It is proposed that the changes observed may be indicative of underlying impairments in social cognition.
Aims: This preliminary study aimed to assess the relationship between social cognition and SRC and their association with general cognitive abilities.
Method: Twenty-one rugby players with a history of SRC were administered a neuropsychological test battery and social cognition tests (Theory of Mind (ToM), Emotional Recognition and Empathy). Data obtained using standardised measures were quantitatively and descriptively analysed.
Results: Analysis revealed relative weaknesses in ToM and emotional recognition in the context of ‘average or above average’ scores on domains of general cognition when compared to normative data. Group level analyses indicated poorer performance on all measures of social cognition compared with overall performance on general cognition.
Implications: Preliminary findings suggest that social cognition should be routinely tested in the management of SRC. The findings indicate that future research should explore the relationship between social cognition and SRC.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Online24 Jul 2020
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Deposited24 Jul 2020
SubmittedMay 2019
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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