Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Sarah Levin Allen, PhD

Second Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD

Third Advisor

Arlene Goodman, MD


Pediatric concussion is a significant health concern for parents, medical providers, and schools. There is little research about how children and adolescents view their recovery and the challenges that they face while their brains gradually restore metabolic function. This study was designed to gain insight into the perspectives of children and adolescents recovering from concussion. Further, exploration of factors, such as type and intensity of symptoms, time since injury, gender, and age of patient, were examined to provide an understanding of the interaction between these factors and the impact on the individual’s perception of his or her recovery. The Pediatric Life After Concussion Evaluation Scale and the Post Concussion Symptom Scale were completed by individuals ages 7-22. Concussion is an experience that can impact quality of life across cognition, emotion expression, and social interactions. Almost half of individuals reported that the concussion disrupted their life to a significant degree. There were no statistically significant differences related to age between the children and adolescents concerning symptoms or quality of life. The study showed that girls reported more physical and somatic symptoms, worse quality of life during recovery, difficulty with cognition, and elevated emotional symptoms than boys. Time since injury was also a significant factor with those children and adolescents who experienced prolonged recovery, reporting more symptoms across all domains. Further, physical symptoms and quality of life were found to be closely associated. Overall, this study showed that children and adolescents can provide information about their recovery experience, that recovery from concussion is multifaceted, and that concussion has significant impact on quality of life for children and adolescents.

Included in

Psychology Commons