Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Susanna Thornhill, PhD

Second Advisor

Dane Joseph, PhD

Third Advisor

Patrick Allen, PhD


Medical professionals continue to revise on-field sport-related concussion (SRC) assessment tools to increase their validity and reliability. Multiple versions of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) have been created, with the newest revision (SCAT5) published in 2017. This version contains changes from a required five-item word list to an optional ten-item word list in the immediate memory and delayed recall sections. The purpose of this study was to determine the underlying and latent structure of the SCAT3 and SCAT5 on pre-test data, in addition to evaluating the internal consistency and ceiling effects of the instrument. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) portion of the SCAT, with a comparison of proportions for floor and ceiling effects. Results for this study showed the factor structure for both SCAT versions did not adequately align with the four sections of the assessment. Overall internal reliability of the SCAT5 was higher than previously reported for other SCAT versions (α = 0.764) and statistical differences were present for ceiling effects between the SCAT3 and SCAT5 for immediate memory (χ2(1, 427) = 218.290, p<.0000) and delayed recall (χ2(1, 427) = 90.43, p<.0000). Findings reveal that the assessment tool structure may be different than what is intended. Despite these concerns, healthcare practitioners should evaluate their SRC decision-making processes to determine if this assessment should be utilized in their testing battery and consider its priority in the return-to-play process.

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