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Associations between self-reported concussion with later violence injury among Australian early adolescents

In: Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdw009

Authors: Lisa Buckley, Rebekah L. Chapman

Background: There is growing research finding associations between adolescents' concussion and negative outcomes, including violence, rarely however are the experiences of community-based early adolescents considered.

Methods: This study examined associations between reports of concussion (Time-1) and reports of violence 1-year later (Time-2). Australian adolescents from 13 high-schools completed two identical surveys administered 12-months apart (n = 734 retained, initial mean age = 13.45).

Results: At the first survey, 91 students (13%) reported they had a concussion, and of these students, 40% reported seeing a doctor/attending hospital during the prior 3 months. Both self-reported experience of violent injury (from getting in a fight) and violent behaviour (getting in a fight) were predicted by reports of concussion in Year 9. This prediction held, when adding sex, Year 9 reports of violence, alcohol use, truancy and engagement in passenger and driving risk-taking to logistic regression models. Year 9 concussion was not predictive of later injury in other contexts, including transportation, falls or sports.

Conclusion: The study highlights the need to understand concussion among community-based early adolescents including consider associations with violence.