Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Robert A. Dunn

Committee Members

Dr. Stephen Marshall, Mr. Rusty Sheridan, M.F.A.


The following is a study on the effects of framing the topic of concussions in the sports media. The study examined the differences between “perceptions of seriousness” of concussions based on two article conditions and how men and women, athletes and non-athletes, sports fans and non-sports fans all viewed the seriousness of concussions. Other variables of analysis included testing participants for their emotional empathy and aggressiveness in relation to their views on concussions. The findings of the study did not confirm most of the hypotheses, but the major hypothesis was supported. For participants who read the “serious” article condition, they reported taking concussions more seriously. Those that were exposed to the “less serious” article condition reported taking concussions less seriously. Therefore, the study shows that the framing of concussions in the sports media could have real consequences for both how the issue is discussed and perceived on the national landscape.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.