This study examined the association between self-reported sports- or physical activity-related concussion and symptoms of depression and suicidal behaviors (suicidal ideation, having a suicide plan, and suicide attempts). This study used data from the 2017 and 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a biennial, school-based, nationally representative survey of U.S. students in grade levels 9 to 12 (N = 14,496). Multivariate logistical regression models assessed the association between self-reported sports-or physical activity-related concussions and suicidal behaviors among students, controlling for a range of demographic and psychosocial variables. Altogether, 13.6% of students reported a sports-or physical activity related concussion in the past 12 months. Among youth, sports-or physical activity related concussions were significantly associated with greater odds of symptoms of depression, suicidal ideation, making a suicide plan, and suicide attempts compared to other youth who did not experience sports- or physical activity-related concussion. Findings highlight increased risk for adverse mental health outcomes among students with sports-or physical activity related concussions. Providing resources for students to engage in physical activity and sports teams may help prevent the onset of depression and suicidal behaviors; however, resources must also be available to monitor any concussions related to these activities to provide support for student emotional well-being.
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