The relationship between concussion and alcohol consumption among university athletes

Research paper by Bradey Alcock, Caitlyn Gallant; Dawn Good

Indexed on: 01 Mar '18Published on: 07 Feb '18Published in: Addictive Behaviors Reports


Publication date: Available online 6 February 2018 Source:Addictive Behaviors Reports Author(s): Bradey Alcock, Caitlyn Gallant, Dawn Good Introduction This study investigated concussion as a potential risk factor for increased alcohol consumption in university athletes. Methods Using a cross-sectional design, 41 university students (37% with a history of concussion) completed self-report measures, while electrodermal activation (EDA) was recorded for each participant to capture baseline physiological arousal. Results As expected, concussion status significantly predicted alcohol consumption over and above athletic status, b = 0.34, p = 0.034, 95% CI [0.195, 4.832], such that those with a prior concussion history engaged in greater alcohol consumption. Importantly, concussion status also significantly predicted baseline physiological arousal, b = −0.39, p = 0.014, 95% CI [−0.979, −0.120], such that those with a history of concussion exhibited lower EDA. Conclusions Elevated alcohol consumption among athletes is a pronounced associate of concussion in sports and may be a behavioral reflection of disruption to the orbitofrontal cortex – an area implicated in inhibition.