Concussion resulting from athletic activities is a frequent occurrence in youth, collegiate, and professional sports. The first step in concussion treatment is usually the self-reporting of concussion symptoms by athletes. Unfortunately, over the past decade, concussion non disclosure has remained a prominent issue in concussion identification. The present article begins with a summary of the prominent theories currently being used to explain the deficit in concussion reporting (i.e., lack of concussion knowledge, negative attitudes towards reporting, and socio-ecological models). Unfortunately, current literature indicates that these theories may not often lead to effective treatments for reporting behavior. We then present an alternative model of concussion reporting, one based on the theories of behavior analysis. The deficit in concussion reporting by athletes may be explained in a comprehensive yet parsimonious way through the behavior analytic principles of differential reinforcement and punishment. We also present directions for potential intervention strategies based on behavioral theory.

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Author notes

Author: Joseph S. Russano, BA

Master's candidate

Seton Hall University, College of Education and Human Services

Josephrussano@gmail.com

Author: Nyasia Sanchez, BA

Master's candidate

Seton Hall University, College of Education and Human Services

Nyasiamariesanchez@gmail.com

Author: Dawn Maffucci, PhD, ATC, LAT

Director of clinical education, Master of science in athletic training

Seton Hall University, School of Health and Medical Sciences

Dawn.Maffucci@shu.edu