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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Bernadette L. Olson


CONTEXT: Sport-related concussion in youth has been identified as a public health concern yet, not all youth have immediate access to qualified medical providers in South Dakota (SD). This places the burden of concussion prevention and care on coaches. In recently adopted SD concussion legislation, coaching education is a critical component. To date, no studies have investigated the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) of SD coaches related to sport-related concussion.
OBJECTIVES: To assess current KSA's of SD interscholastic coaches regarding sport-related concussions and examine the effect of state mandated law on coaching practices.
DESIGN: Descriptive cross sectional study. SETTING: Interscholastic setting via online survey.
SUBJECTS: All SO interscholastic coaches identified through the South Dakota High School Activities Association membership database.
METHODS: A 35-item researcher developed survey was delivered electronically to SD interscholastic coaches.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests and Pearson's r correlation tests.
RESULTS: The respondents, 32% of SD coaches, demonstrated substantial awareness of sport- related concussions and an exemplary level of knowledge and skill. However, only 46% reported sportrelated concussion as a serious or very serious issue. Coaches were less aware of sport-related concussion policy. DISCUSSION: Coaches are successfully meeting their obligation to complete coaching education and are implementing KSA's into plans of care. Current strategies targeted towards educating coaches should be maintained. Educating coaches about sport-related concussion policy should be included in coaching orientations at their individual schools.
CONCLUSIONS: South Dakota coaches will continue to play an important role in the prevention and care of sport-related concussion· in youth. Continued efforts to raise awareness and change attitudes towards improving outcomes of this condition should continue. Further research should investigate the impact of mandated concussion policies on school policy.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sports injuries Sports injuries in children Brain -- Concussion Coaches (Athletics) -- South Dakota Coaches (Athletics) -- South Dakota -- Attitudes


Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-73)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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