Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Glena L. Andrews, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD

Third Advisor

Freeman Chakara, PsyD


With more than 10,000 Sports Related Concussions (SRCs) per year at the collegiate level, interdisciplinary teams are often tasked with determining when an athlete may return to activity (Zuckerman et al., 2015). Due to neurochemical changes following an SRC, athletes are vulnerable to further injury if they suffer another head injury before given appropriate time to heal (Giza & Hovda, 2014). Cognitive testing is routinely utilized to detect the presence of cognitive dysfunction and aid in individualized treatment planning. Because athletes often demonstrate practice effects when retested, it is difficult to distinguish if the athlete is demonstrating cognitive dysfunction. Reliable Change Indices (RCIs) provide a systematic framework for interpreting the change in an individual’s scores over time. The present study sought to develop RCIs with a brief battery of pencil paper tests within the cognitive domains most impacted by SRC. Results indicated significant increases in test scores across various tests due to practice effect. Additionally, reliability coefficients varied significantly across tests, ranging from low to excellent. Reliable Change Indices were calculated and recorded below. Findings indicate the utility of many of the tests administered and provide context to more accurately interpret follow-up testing scores.