Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-5-2023


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



School Psychology


School of Education

Committee Chair

Ara. J. Schmitt, Ph.D., Professor

Committee Member

Gibbs Y. Kanyongo, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair

Committee Member

Kara E. McGoey, Ph.D., Professor and Program Director

Committee Member

Erica Beidler, Ph.D., Professor


youth, concussion, management, school, school psychologist


A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can have a serious effect on a young, developing brain. Following a concussion, it is common for children and adolescents to experience difficulties in the school setting. Schools may be the ideal setting to address some of the problems children experience as schools employ some personnel with expertise and experience in assessment and intervention. If return to learn is put to the side, students experiencing concussion signs and symptoms could potentially have long-term cognitive problems. School psychologists play a key role in the prevention and assessment of, and intervention for the difficulties experienced after a student has developed a concussion. One specific way that school psychologists may assist such students is through the implementation of a school-based concussion protocol. Few studies have investigated the role of school psychologists in concussion management or their perceived competence to participate in a return-to-learn model. This investigation serves as a basis to provide an evidence-based, best practices summary to assist school psychologist with the evaluation and management of concussions and to establish the level of evidence, knowledge gaps, and areas requiring additional research. A 31-item anonymous survey containing questions regarding demographics, knowledge and competence with concussions, and current practices regarding concussion management models was electronically distributed via email and completed by school psychologist (n=179). This research adds to the existing evidence indicating that school psychologists are in a unique position to assist adolescents in returning to school after a concussion. The findings imply that future research should investigate the effects of formal training on concussion treatment behaviors and attitudes.