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Sports Communication Student Research

Relationships Between Media’s Portrayal of Head Injuries and Public Perspective

Jacob Young, Brett Butler, Michael Conway, Jack Lucchesi

The objective of the following study was to examine the broadcast media’s impact on the public perception of head-related injuries in contact sports. An online survey was distributed to Marist College undergraduates, whose ages typically ranged between 18 and 22, during a week-long stretch in March 2018. The survey assessed the correlation between broadcast media’s reporting on head injuries in contact sports and the public perspective of such injuries. The findings within our research determined that those who perceive head injuries to be of high frequency also perceive them to be of greater severity. Due to the media’s persistent notion that participation in contact sports will result in a head injury of some kind, it was also found that this is likely a predominant cause for a decrease in participation among these sports. The limitations of the study included only reaching the students of Marist College, potentially limiting the generalizability of our research.

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