Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2011


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



School Psychology


School of Education

Committee Chair

Jeffrey A. Miller

Committee Member

Laura M. Crothers

Committee Member

Elizabeth McCallum


Concussion, Misconception, MTBI, School-age, Student, Teacher


Concussion, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), is defined as a consequence of a physical trauma to the head followed by some disruption of brain function (Parker, 2001). The highest risk age groups for concussion are children up to the age of 5 years and adolescents from 15 years to 19 years of age (CDC, 2010). A constellation of symptoms, dubbed Postconcussion Syndrome (PCS), have been found to be commonly experienced after an individual has suffered a concussion, which consists of cognitive symptoms, affective symptoms, and somatic symptoms that adversely affect the individual's functioning (McAllister & Arciniegas, 2002; Ryan & Warden, 2003; Taylor et al., 2010). These symptoms may last anywhere from two weeks to several years after a concussion has been sustained (Alves, Macciocchi, & Barth, 1993; Ciccerone & Kalmar, 1995; Rutherford, Merrett, & McDonald, 1979; Ryan & Warden, 2003). Research has demonstrated that misconceptions about the nature of concussions and the symptoms that can follow are widespread (Gouvier, Presholdt, & Warner, 1988; Guilmette & Paglia 2004; Willer, Johnson, Rempel, & Linn, 1993). The purpose of this study was to describe the knowledge of a sample of public school teachers regarding concussions and the symptoms that can occur postconcussion. The study investigated common knowledge and misconceptions held by teachers about concussion in children. In addition, the study served an exploratory function and investigated whether differences in misconceptions are evident between various subgroups of teachers. Results of the study indicated public school teachers endorsed very few misconceptions about postconcussion symptoms. Significant differences were found dependent upon the years of experience teaching on the items concerning multi-tasking behaviors, having difficulty concentrating for some time, and emotional problems. No gender differences were found in regards to knowledge and misconceptions of postconcussion symptoms. No significant differences were found dependent upon elementary versus secondary settings. Regular education teachers answered items correctly concerning changes in personality, mood swings, brain damage, and the duration of symptoms at a higher rate than the special education teachers. Finally, both regular education and special education teachers endorse having had training in the area of