Correlates of sport-related concussion in male junior rugby union: A concurrent analysis of biopsychosocial factors

Amanda Clacy, Rachael Sharman, Geoff P. Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a multi-faceted issue that should be considered in context, with consideration for the biological, psychological, and sociocultural (i.e., biopsychosocial) factors which influence the incidence of injury in contact sports such as rugby union (rugby). Through the concurrent assessment of individual variables within a multi-measure cross-sectional research design, the current study aimed to contextualise the individual factors associated with SRC in male junior (ages 11–17 years) rugby. Method: Self- and parent-report measures were used to assess athletes' psychological and behavioural functioning. Sociocultural influences were considered in terms of duration of participation, involvement of immediate family, and participation in other sports. Biological measures included athlete age, BMI, aerobic fitness, and in-utero testosterone exposure (2D:4D). Results: Athlete age was positively correlated with concussion incidence, with adolescent (14–17-year-old) athletes 1.4 times more likely to report a history of SRC than pre-adolescent (11–13-year-old) athletes. Multi-sport participation and immediate family participation were found to positively predict SRC incidence. No psychological measures were identified as significant correlates to concussive injury, however, this may be due to the homogeneity of the sample scores. Conclusions: The concurrent assessment of biopsychosocial factors associated with SRC presents the opportunity for a comprehensive analysis of the injury context. The findings from this study suggest that SRC in junior rugby cannot be predicted using individual variables. Future research directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Early online date17 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • biopsychosocial
  • concussion
  • individual differences
  • regression analysis
  • sports injuries
  • youth sports


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