School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Alex Springall

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1418

Start date

Feb 2014

Submission date

Feb 2018

Alex Springall


Paediatric concussion: The role of age, gender, and parenting factors on neuropsychological outcome and post-concussional symptoms.


Much of the recent attention on concussion has been focused on the diagnosis and management in college athletes and adults. In comparison, very little consideration has been given to concussion in children and adolescents, and there is a lack of understanding about the assessment, prognosis, and treatment of concussion in this cohort. It has been suggested that children have poorer outcomes, and prolonged recovery after concussion in comparison to adults due to an underdeveloped brain; and that females report a greater number of symptoms, and more significant cognitive deficits compared to males, potentially due to differences in white matter growth, and the strength of neck muscles. The current study will examine and compare the impact of concussion in a pre-adolescent (aged 6-10), and adolescent (11-17) sample. Both acute and longer term effects will be assessed, and a non-injured control group will be included to provide additional comparisons. The study also aims to further our understanding of the factors that may influence recovery from concussion.

By using a symptom scale and a broad neuropsychological test battery assessing executive functioning, memory, learning, attention, and verbal fluency, the study aims to develop a comprehensive picture of the neuropsychological deficits and symptoms associated with concussion in childhood.

Why my research is important

It is anticipated this research will significantly add to the field and provide new insight in to the effects of concussion in children and adolescents. This in turn may lead to better management of head injury in children in this age group, and improve outcomes.


  • This study is being conducted by members of the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital. There are no outside funding bodies involved.


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