Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Speech-Language Pathology


Anthony P. Salvatore


Background: Motor speech disorders, such as dysarthria, are a common sequelae reported after traumatic brain injuries. However, there is limited research on the effects of sport-related concussions (SRC) on motor speech disorders.

Aims: The current study aimed at replicating and extending a previous research study, Dolan (2013), conducted at the University of Texas at El Paso. In her study, Dolan (2013) incorporated and evaluated motor speech tasks: sequential motion rates, and motor limb tasks: movement execution initiation and finger repetition, in athletes following a sport-related concussion. The current study duplicates Dolanâ??s (2013) study. In addition, it investigates the effects of a SRC on alternating motion rates, speech rate, and intelligibility in a sentence repetition task.

Methods: Motor speech and motor limb tasks were investigated in 18 individuals (7 males, 11 females; age = 18.78 years ± 2.37) following a SRC and 18 individuals (7 males, 11 females; age = 19.66 years ± 3.03) in a control group, closely matched by age and education. Oral diadochokinesis (DDK) tasks: sequential motion rates and alternating motion rates were measured and acoustically analyzed using Kay Elemetrics: CSL, model 4500. Speech rates were attained using the computerized Sentence Intelligibility Test. Motor limb tasks included a finger repetition task and a movement execution initiation time task. Total duration times for all speech and the motor limb tasks were compared between groups.

Results: The results demonstrate slower DDK syllable duration and total duration times in athletes following a SRC compared to individuals in the control group. Additionally, individuals following a SRC showed slower finger repetition duration and movement execution initiation times in comparison to the control group. Although, speech rate and speech intelligibility is not significant, speech rate did differ; slower speech rate is still noted in athleteâ??s post-SRC in comparison to the control group.

Conclusions: Sport-related concussions do have a significant impact on the motor speech and the motor limb mechanisms, further adding to the already known consequences.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

81 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Jessica Marie Hewitt