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The purpose of this study was to examine whether self-efficacy predicted pediatric concussion symptom severity and explore whether affective mood states (e.g., depression) influenced this relationship.
Children (8–17 years) who were diagnosed with a concussion within 30 days of injury participated in the study (n = 105). Following a clinical assessment, participants and caregivers completed questionnaires that assessed overall concussion symptom severity and current depression symptoms. Participants also completed ratings capturing self-efficacy for managing concussion recovery.
Linear regression models revealed that greater levels of self-efficacy predicted lower parent- (R2 = 0.10, p = .001) and youth-rated (R2 = 0.23, p < .001) concussion symptom severity. Interestingly, depression symptoms moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and concussion symptom severity.
Findings provide initial support for a relationship between self-efficacy and concussion outcomes and highlight the influence of depressive symptoms. Interventions that optimize youth’s self-efficacy have the potential to increase treatment adherence, reduce concussion symptom severity, and improve recovery prognosis.
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