Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-10-2019


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education


School of Education

Committee Chair

Ara J. Schmitt

Committee Member

Kara E. McGoey

Committee Member

Gibbs Y. Kanyongo

Committee Member

Erica Beidler


ImPACT, The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, neurocognitive assessment, baseline scores, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disability, gifted, concussion, student athlete


The ImPACT aims to measure neurocognitive functioning in student athletes. Many schools administer preseason ImPACT assessments to determine athletes’ baseline functioning. Follow-up ImPACT assessments are administered to athletes who sustain concussions to compare their pre- and post-injury functioning. Normative data may be used in place of individualized baseline scores if athletes were not administered baseline assessments. At the inception of this study, normative datasets consisted of scores from typically developing athletes. However, research suggests athletes of varying gender and exceptionality statuses perform differently on baseline ImPACT assessments. In particular, differences were found among male and female athletes as well as athletes with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when compared to control groups. Although some studies have suggested gifted and/or talented students may perform differently on ImPACT baseline assessments, no present study has directly examined this concept. The present study investigated baseline score differences between males and females and among students with LD, ADHD, giftedness, and typical development on the five composites of the ImPACT (Verbal Memory, Visual Memory, Visual Motor Speed, Reaction Time, Impulse Control). Findings of the present study revealed significant main effects of exceptionality status. Contrary to initial hypotheses, no significant main effects of gender were found. Additionally, no significant interaction effects were discovered. Follow-up analyses revealed members of the Gifted group obtained significantly higher scores than members of the Control group on Verbal Memory and Visual Memory Composites. The importance of these findings, limitations of the study, and directions for future research are also discussed.