Changing the culture of concussion reporting among college athletes: The role of vested interests organizational culture and (ASUF 30007031)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Changing the culture of concussion reporting among college athletes: The role of vested interests organizational culture and (ASUF 30007031) Changing the culture of concussion reporting among college athletes: The role of vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narrative. Overview The purpose of this project is to establish best practices and principles for effective messaging to change the culture of concussion reporting among US college athletes. To accomplish this, we will examine individual student athletes from the standpoint of vested interests athletes have in reporting or not reporting concussion symptoms. The project will innovate by also studying the effects of organizational culture and cultural narrative on individual attitudes and behaviors. Through study of vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narrative, we will better understand how individual-level attitudes and behaviors are influenced by the cultural environment. Through study of high risk mens and womens sports, both with higher and lower professional potential, this study will also afford comparison of differences based on gender and post-college career prospects. The project will use a mixed-method design including surveys, experiments, interviews, and textual analysis. Phase I, comprising years one and two, will focus on describing vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narratives among athletes in football, wrestling soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. Phase II will use conclusions from Phase I to design and experimentally test messages designed to bolster concussion reporting attitudes and behaviors. Deliverables include publications of field data analyses, experimental results, and best organizational and educational practices. Proposed Approach The predominant approach in concussion prevention is to educate individuals. Programs teach athletes how to recognize signs of serious brain injury and about the risks of concussion. The goals of these programs are to persuade student athletes to be cautious, report symptoms, and seek medical attention when needed. The reasoning behind this approach is that the individual ultimately suffers the consequences of concussions, so they have a personal interest in their long-term brain health. The current approach assumes, without proof, that if athletes have adequate knowledge and tools, these interests will manifest themselves in protective behavior. Unfortunately, research indicates that simple concussion education is not effective (Kroshus, Daneshvar, Baugh, Nowinski, & Cantu, 2014a). We argue that approach is likely not effective because it overlooks competing interests athletes have, which stem from the organizational and cultural context in which they make health decisions. In a recent literature review, Kerr et al. (2014) concur that concussion research is inappropriately biased in this way: The findings suggest that research gaps exist concerning factors influencing athletes disclosure of sports-related concussions and concussion symptoms. Notably, researchers have focused on intra-personal and inter-personal level factors, placing less emphasis on the environment and policy levels. As a result, future investigations should be multi-dimensional in order to incorporate the many facets that may increase disclosure and minimize non-disclosure (p. 1020). To address this gap, we propose a multi-dimensional, mixed-method (quantitative and qualitative) research. We will assess individual vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narratives, and study how these dimensions interact to influence decisions by NCAA athletes in football, wrestling soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. Our rationale for selecting these sports is described below under participants. Pilot data from three interviews and 30 surveys collected from Arizona State University athletes inform the design (see supplemental documents). The study will provide crucial information about how to target communicative efforts at the three levels, and tailor messaging for different audience segments to cause change in the culture and individual behaviors of concussion reporting. In the following sections, we describe the three dimensions that will guide our research, then explain how these dimensions can interact. Vested Interests Vested interest theory specifies factors that mediate the relationship between attitudes and associated behaviors. At the individual level, when vestedness in a particular attitude is perceived as high, attitudes have a stronger likelihood of predicting consonant behavior; alternatively, when vestedness is low, the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship is diminished (Crano & Prislin, 1995; Sivacek & Crano, 1982). Vestedness is a function of six distinct, measureable variables: (a) stake, (b) salience, (c) certainty, (d) immediacy, (e) self-efficacy, and (f) response-efficacy. These variables are thoughts and attitudes about actions, objects, and consequences, and are present in all individuals (Crano, 1983). Stake is a global variable that characterizes an individuals perceived involvement in a particular issue. Salience explains the cognitive accessibility of related thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. Certainty describes the perceived probability of action and consequences related to the attitude-object. Immediacy is temporal, describing how perceptually far in the future actions may be warranted or consequences may be suffered. Self-efficacy is the athletes perception of her/his ability to act in a meaningful way, or affect change. Finally, response-efficacy is the perception that the advocated response is effective. When each of the above factors is perceived to be high, attitudes should reliably predict behaviors; however, when one or more factors is low, the predictive value is reduced (Adame & Miller, 2014; Miller, Adame, & Moore, 2013; Kroshus, Baugh, Daneshvar, & Viswanath, 2014). Understanding the structure of vestedness allows organizations to develop messages tailored for particular interests, which, in this context, can facilitate cultural change by enhancing individual protective and reporting behaviors (Adame & Miller, 2014). RQ1: What are athletes vested interests with respect to reporting and not reporting concussion symptoms? Organizational Culture Athlete attitudes are not solely affected by personal interests, but are also inflected by narratives circulating in society and the culture of the organizations (school and team) to which the athlete belongs. Organizational culture is the most immediate context in which individual attitudes and behaviors are expressed. Organizational culture is commonly defined as the pattern of shared beliefs that guide group members perceptions, feelings, and actions, and is reflected at three levels: artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions (Schein, 2004). Artifacts, at the superficial level, are visible products that one can see, hear or feel. At the second level, espoused values provide sources of identity and behavioral norms to bring the group together. Schein (2004) contends that one must uncover the deepest levelbasic assumptions to truly understand the culture of an organization. Basic assumptions serve as implicit mental maps that help group members navigate the social environment, and know how to react and feel. In sum, norms and shared assumptions of the organization have a significant influence on those of the individual member, and conformity pressure can alter attitude/behavior expressions an individual would otherwise have (Frontiera, 2010; Schroeder, 2010; Schroeder & Scribner, 2006). RQ2: What are the artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions of college teams and how do these vary across sports and programs? Despite a growing number of studies examining organizational culture in sport, little is known about how athletes attitudes and behavioral norms of reporting concussions are shaped by shared values and basic assumptions within organizations. Our approach addresses this gap. In college sports, coaches play an essential role in defining the mental maps of team culture. Through interviewing ten head coaches representing five different sports at NCAA Division I institutions, Schroeder (2010) found that coaches could catalyze cultural change by creating a set of values and connecting their actions to specific team values. In reviewing studies of organizational culture in sport, Maitland, Hills and Rhind (2015) suggested that coaches and staff members are crucial piece in the study of organizational culture. We will interview coaches and athletic trainers to identify connections between the individual vested interests and the values/assumptions evident in the team organizations. These connections will lead to recommendations for designing communication campaigns designed to align these three dimensions. RQ3: How do athlete vested interests interact with team organizational culture? Cultural Narrative At the macro-level of influences on concussion injury reporting are cultural narratives. Narrative is both simultaneously a cognitive process of making sense of the world around us, predicated on cause and effect (Branigan, 1992), and also a socio-cultural phenomenon identified as a system of stories sharing a common structure of desire/conflict, sequential event trajectory and resolution. Both of these aspects of narrative shape individual identity and behavior: People conceive of themselves in terms of stories. Ones future is projected as a continuation of the story, as yet unfinished (Polkinghorne, 1988, p.107). Since cultural narratives both embody specific values and provide cognitive templates for individuals to comprehend contemporary events and situations (Halverson, Goodall & Corman, 2011), understanding the content, structure and components of concussion-related narratives is essential for identifying methods to effect cultural change. Sports media have long celebrated stories of football toughness, whether praising fullback Larry Czonka for hitting harder than a linebacker or admiring Tony Romo for leading a Cowboys comeback while playing with a punctured lung. These stories coalesce into narratives of toughness, masculinity and heroism. Recently, the tragic story of Junior Seau and similar stories have introduced a narrative of caution and consequence into the cultural conversation. These cultural narratives help shape how individuals understand their place in society, their place in sports and how they chart their futures. Narratives can highlight risk, or elide risk and consequence in their celebration of toughness or other ideals. Narrative logic is an important factor in understanding the influence of narrative on how individuals make sense of cause and effect, conceive consequences and make decisions. Walter Fisher (1989) posits that humans as story-telling animals (homo narrans) are heavily influenced by a narrative logic that is predicated on coherence (internally consistent story logic) and fidelity (congruence with stories already believed to be true by the individual). Thus, athletes may not accept a story told about the near-term consequences of concussion injury because the stories they already believe to be true hold that any adverse debilitating effects are suffered in the distant future during old age; our pilot interviews exhibit this formulation. Cultural narratives also execute ideological functions, including naturalizing of constructed behavior and universalizing of interests (Mumby, 1988; Trethewey, Goodall, Corman 2009). These ideological functions manifest themselves as the basic assumptions of organizational cultures noted above. Identification of cultural narrativessuch as those expressing or exhibiting a culture of risk (Donnelly, 2004)and analysis of their constituent components will illuminate cultural influences on perceived values, prioritization of vested interests and perceived resolutions of the personal stories that Polkinghorne describes. The triangulation of these influences will lead to strategies for effecting cultural change. RQ4: How do cultural narratives about athletics in the sports being studied influence the formation and expression of athletes attitudes and behavior with respect to concussion reporting? Interactions between Dimensions Crucially, vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narratives can interact to influence individual concussion reporting behavior. Organizational culture can influence all of the vested interests described above. For instance, a teams norms with respect to symptom reporting can influence perceived response efficacy, i.e. the athletes belief that if s/he reports symptoms, the team will take appropriate action. Furthermore, the artifacts that embody the organizational culture can communicate aspects of stake, salience and immediacy through their accessibility and appeal. Cultural narrative can also influence perceived salience, as when athletes hear stories about others who suffered later in life because of concussions in college sports. Cultural narrative can influence organizational culture: greater attention in all sports to the issue of head injuries has made teams more diligent about assessing and managing concussions. Notably, these three levels can interact in a negative way: a theme in our pilot interviews was that teams were more vigilant about treating possible cases of concussions, and athletes sometimes avoided reporting concussion symptoms because they fear that being removed from play would hurt their chances of making the big leagues. This preliminary data points to a possible interaction warranting closer investigation: narratives are founded on temporal structures, and if the salient narratives most accepted by athletes have long duration/future consequence structures, they may mitigate against immediacy and reduce compliance. RQ5: How do vested interests, organizational culture, and cultural narrative interact to influence the formation and expression of athletes attitudes and behavior with respect to concussion reporting? Experimental Validation While we expect that answering the above research question will expose differences between athletes, sports, and programs in how athlete vested interests are expressed, it remains an open question whether these effects are open to change. To address this issue, we plan to test messages designed to affect athlete attitudes and behaviors based on the results of the descriptive research. Specifically, we will select two findings that appear to have the greatest influence on lax attitudes and/or under-reporting of concussion symptoms and design video messages to address these shortcomings. We will then conduct experimental tests of the hypothesis: H1: Athletes receiving messages designed to increase vested interests in concussion reporting will exhibit greater knowledge gain, attitude change, and/or behavioral reporting intention than athletes receiving standard concussion education training. Innovation and Practical Implications Current athlete-focused approaches to concussion education do not take into account individual differences in interests, nor the interaction of these with organizational norms and cultural narratives. As a result, they do not effectively segment athletes and target them with customized messages, or adapt messages to counter pernicious interactions between individual attitudes and organizational culture and cultural narratives. Audience segmentation is essential for effective communication efforts and is the necessary prerequisite to creating messages that are responsive to the concerns, need, and perspectives of specific populations (Slater, 1996, p. 267). This tailoring of messages to specific segments enhances the relevance of messages to target audiences and can produce greater chances of behavior change (Hawkins, et al., 2008). In this section, we document shortcomings of existing education approaches and explain how our project will provide the basis for innovations in audience segmentation and targeting. Current Concussion Education Approaches Most concussion educational programs in the U.S. take a one-size-fits-all approach. These educational programs include definitions of concussions, signs and symptoms, short and long-term side effects of concussions, consequences of not reporting concussions, and concussion reporting strategies (Bagley et al., 2012; Manasse-Cohick & Shapley, 2014; Miyashita, Timpson, Frye, & Glockner, 2013; Sawyer et al., 2010). While these programs have shown success for athlete knowledge retention (Manasse-Cohick & Shapley, 2014), effects on behavior are not clear. Moreover, little research exists with respect to the interaction between individual interests, organizational culture, and cultural narrative. The educational materials target athlete knowledge retention and proactive behaviors rather than taking into account audience segments, organizational culture, or cultural narratives. This approach is inadequate because it ignores potentially competing vested interests in performing at an optimal level, dedication to the team, and developing a professional athletic career. Moreover, organizational norms will influence the structure of these competing vested interests and impact individual behavioral decisions. If athletes feel a strong sense of identification within a sport culture (Register-Mihalik et al., 2013), shifts in group normative behaviors may need to begin at an organizational level. The existing educational materials also exhibit a reliance on a logical rationality, ignoring a fundamental component of human decision-making: narrative rationality (Fisher, 1989). Cultural narratives provide the framework for the coherence and fidelity that shape individual identity stories and personal decision-making, and can run contrary to instrumental rationality. For example, a young athlete who aligns his personal identity narrative with a player like Ronnie Lott (whose narrative of success was based on his incredibly hard hits and willingness to severe a portion of his finger to return from injury sooner, and culminated with Super Bowls, Hall of Fame and other accolades), will likely not be persuaded by appeals of cost/benefit or risk of injury analyses. On the other hand, it is possible that interventions by athletic staff, if properly designed with respect to narrative rationality, could mitigate these effects. To best help athlete concussion knowledge, attitude, and reporting behaviors, researchers implementing an educational program must first determine what structures are influencing concussion reporting behaviors for particular audience segments. Targeting Vested Interests By measuring elements of vestedness, we can assess the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship. For this project, one primary task is to identify and describe the existing attitudes concerning severe head impacts, related behavioral choices, and perceived levels of vestedness for each. Based on our pilot data collection, we have identified several attitudinal factors related to severe head impacts including, but not limited to, attitudes toward: serving ones team, professional athletic aspirations, and self-protection. By understanding how each attitude is composed in relation to athletes potential and actual behavior choices, we can design messages and educational interventions to influence maladaptive attitudes and requisite behaviors. Our preliminary data show that the athletes in our sample tend to perceive the consequences of repeated head injuries to be a future problem, to be addressed long after their athletic career is over. Other available data suggests, however, that the immediate effects for a concussion can accumulate with as few as two concussive events (McCrea, Kelly, Randolph, Cisler, & Berger, 2002; Moser & Schatz, 2002). Framed by vestedness, this discrepancy is one of perceived immediacy, and our preliminary assessment would prescribe messages aimed at boosting perceptions of immediacy. The vestedness model allows for this and other potential gaps in perception and actual risk to be attenuated through tailored, strategic message designs. Recent research demonstrates that messages can influence perceptions of vestedness in risk contexts (Adame & Miller, 2014), and further that tailored messages tend to be more persuasive than stock messages (Jensen, King, Carcioppolo, & Davis, 2012). Manipulating vestedness should allow us to facilitate behavioral change. Organizational Culture Effects The study will develop an integrative framework for uncovering the interaction between individual responses of sports-related concussion and complex organizational culture. A thorough understanding of organizational values, beliefs, and assumptions will provide a solid basis for cultural change programs to cultivate norms that support best practices among student athletes. Our pilot study suggests promising avenues for creating tailored intervention programs. The tendency of under reporting (or non-report) concussion symptoms is partly determined by ones perceived reporting norms among teammates. Participants in our pilot research reported difficulty knowing how their teammates usually react when having a concussion. Consequently, they are not sure about what is the appropriate way to behave. To propel desirable attitudinal and behavioral change, it is essential to modify perceived group norms (injunctive norms) and actual group behavior (descriptive norms) (Ajzen, 1988; Cialdini, Kallgren, & Reno, 1991). Appropriate interventions can formulate a new set of underlying assumptions within sports organizations in hopes of creating a positive culture of endorsing reporting norms. In this sense, organizational culture can bolster individual athletes perceived salience, self-efficacy and response efficacy of concussion reporting. Our pilot data also show that basic assumptions about playing with risk and injuries guide athletes decisions to stay in games following injury. Research has shown that the organizational culture of playing with pain in sports is constantly reinforced by leaders (e.g. managers and coaches) and mutually supported by prominent narratives circulating widely in culture including sports arena nicknames such as House of Pain and aphorisms such as pain dont hurt (Nixon, 1993). An alternate strategy could be to educate athletic trainers and coaches about cultivating a culture of safety with their team members, while still valorizing ideals of skill, savvy, teamwork and toughness. Developing proactive guidance for coaches about communicating changing norms of safety and honesty, and structuring this communication consistent with prevailing cultural narratives to ensure fidelity, will aid cultural change processes. Cultural Narrative Effects To date, studies of cultural narratives and concussion injury have focused on media representation. Building on this foundation, our study will distill evidence of congruence with media-promulgated cultural narratives in the individual stories told by our interview subjects, but also identify the presence of common narratives across participants that are not present in mass media. This provides a more comprehensive collection of the relevant cultural narratives informing the values underlying desires and conflicts, and resultant behavior germane to concussion-injury reporting. Past CSC work suggests that vertical integration of narrativealignment of cultural, local, and personal narrativepresents a powerful model of identity formation, value-adherence and decision-making (Corman, Ruston and Fisk, 2012; Halverson, Goodall, & Corman 2011). The analysis of the cultural narrative components will facilitate the construction of counter-narrative and alternative-narrative strategies to influence attitudes and behavior. The counter-narrative approach seeks to interrupt vertical integration (a congruence of the personal, organizational and cultural levels of narrative) or disrupt the narrative coherence of a story system (Ruston and Halverson, 2014). For example, our pilot data indicates that the consequences of concussion injury (decreased brain function) lie in time beyond the desired resolution of the athletes success narrative: playing professional sports. A potential counter-narrative is one with a trajectory that resolves with brain injury preventing professional level achievement. Our research will identify the components and means necessary to maintain fidelity in the construction of such narrative. The alternative narrative approach acknowledges the legitimacy of the source of conflict and/or desired resolution in the personal, organizational or cultural narrative. However, it also charts a different pathway toward that resolution by other means. This alternative narrative arc emphasizes stories with different participants, actions, and events. In both form and content, the alternative narrative must remain familiar and integrate into the existing narrative landscape, lest the target audience reject it. In short, it must maintain coherence and fidelity. Thus, we seek to identify narrative components that can yield vertically integrated narrative systems that maintain the same criteria of coherence and fidelity as existing cultural narratives, but provide countering disruptions to the existing narrative system or positive/aspirational alternative resolutions. Research Methodology and Data Collection Field Research Research questions 1-5, defined above, will be tested using field research methods. All PIs and project staff will be responsible for completing the field research. Consultant Josh Beaumont (an ASU athletic trainer) will be responsible for coordinating recruiting of participants at PAC-12 schools. Consultant Dr. Cardenas (Director, Barrow Concussion & Brain Injury Center) will assist in interpretation of interviews and survey results. Participants. Participants will consist of male and female athletes from PAC-12 teams in six sports: football, wrestling, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball, as well as athletic training and coaching staff from these teams. Our choice of schools was driven the by ability to use existing connections with teams to secure cooperation and the need to maximize travel resources within budget constraints. The PAC-12 is a major conference of which our institution is a member, thus we have a better chance of using connections between ASU and other PAC-12 schools to secure cooperation with the research project. ASU is also relatively close to other PAC-12 schools, placing less demand on a limited travel budget for trips to those schools. Our choice of sports was dictated by (a) risk of head injury in the sport, (b) sports played by Division 1 teams in the PAC-12, and (c) the need to have comparative results for mens and womens teams. All the above sports have multiple teams within the PAC-12. According to NCAA's SSI Task Force report on concussion (, 2013), all except basketball carry rates of concussion exceeding one per 1000 student athlete exposures. We included basketball because it carries an elevated concussion risk (1 per 1000, and 0.6 per 1000 exposures for women and men, respectively); but moreover, it is the only sport that has mens and womens teams at all PAC-12 schools, supporting a systematic comparison of men and women playing the same sport. For comparison, all twelve schools have womens soccer, but only five have mens teams. We will target 500 athletes in the selected sports to be recruited for an online survey. We will also recruit three student athletes from each team (189 total) for interviews lasting 30-60 minutes. In addition, we will seek interviews with two members of the training, medical and coaching staffs from each team to assess organizational culture. Semi-structured interviews with coaches and athletic trainers allow us the flexibility and depth needed to identify how coaching behaviors guide dynamic interpretations of team values. All participants will receive modest (within NCAA regulations) incentives to participate. Data Collection. Data collection will consist of online surveys and semi-structured interviews. The survey will consist of approximately 175 items to measure demographics, vested interests, and dimensions of organizational affiliation with respect to concussion reporting. Athlete interviews will be conducted either face-to-face, by telephone, or via Skype, and will follow an interview schedule designed to elicit stories about the athletes experience with concussion, reporting behavior, and consequences, for the self and other athletes. Staff interviews will be conducted face-to-face or by telephone, and will follow a protocol designed to elicit information about the teams policies, values and approaches to dealing with concussion behaviors. Supplemental documents contain draft survey items and interview schedules. Analysis. Analysis approaches will differ for each of the three levels we are examining. Vested Interests. The primary analysis techniques will be multiple regression, and multiple analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Multiple regression analysis will allow us to analyze potential predictive relationships in the data, such as differences due to socioeconomic status, those based on levels of perceived vestedness, and those based on perceived organizational affiliation. The MANCOVA analysis will allow us to identify and analyze potential differences between groups including those based on the sport played, and potential differences due to gender, school, or location. Organizational Culture. Interviews of participants will be audio-recorded where they grant permission. Organizational culture source data will include transcripts of athlete and team staff interviews, or field notes in cases where recording is not permitted. We will perform thematic analysis on these interviews, using sensitizing concepts of norms, basic assumptions, and reporting procedures/standards. Data analysis will be conducted through several cycles of the coding process to identify particular themes that reference organizational culture in the context of cultural narratives, and points of congruence/incongruence between athlete and staff interviews, in order to identify points of intervention for cultural change. Cultural Narrative. Narrative source data will be participant interview transcripts (revealing individual and organizational stories), news media reporting on concussion injury topics (revealing cultural narratives), and extant literature (describing cultural narratives). The individual and organizational stories in texts will be excerpted by trained coders, and analyzed for five components: conflict, desire, event-progress, event-obstruction and goal/resolution. Natural language processing techniques refined by CSC (Corman, Ruston, & Fisk, 2012) will be used to reveal narratives within the interview data that can be compared with narratives evident in news media and extant literature. An example of two interviews analyzed using this technique appears in the supplemental documents. Interpretive techniques will be used to identify those components contributing to narrative validity, and those contributing to vested interest values (for example, the principle of immediacy mitigating goal/resolution and stake/certainty interacting with desire/conflict). These components will be those identified for manipulation through counter- and alternative-narrative techniques. Experimental Research Hypothesis 1, defined above, will be testing using controlled experiments. Co-PI Ruston will be responsible for production of videos used in the experiments. Co-PIs Adame and Tsai, along with project staff, will have primary responsibility for completing the experimental research. Design. This phase of the project is designed to test the effectiveness of a targeted, strategic messaging campaign to enhance athlete attitudes and behaviors with respect to reporting concussion symptoms. We will produce two persuasive videos to address areas where field research shows deficiencies in perceived vested interests. We will test the effectiveness of these videos using a post-test control group experimental design. Participating athletes will be randomly assigned to one control group and two treatment groups. The control group will repeat the standard concussion training delivered to athletes at the school, in order to control for the possibility that the treatment videos might show effects just because they increase availability of concussion as an issue. The treatment groups will view the videos. The dependent variable, effectiveness, will be operationalized as knowledge gain, attitude change, and behavioral (reporting) intention, an underutilized and important metric for predicting reporting behavior (Kroshus, Baugh, Daneshvar, Nowinshi, & Cantu, 2014b). Participants. Participants will consist of 150 Arizona State University student athletes, 50 per treatment/control group. We chose to study ASU athletes for logistical reasons, and to control for possible variation in standard training we might encounter if we recruited from different universities. Our sample frame will include the sports described above plus other sports with high concussion risk as needed. All participants will receive modest (within NCAA regulations) incentives to participate. Data collection. We will collect data using an online survey in order to conform with ASUs planned design for a standard concussion education program. Analysis. We will analyze experimental data using standard analysis of variance procedures. Evaluation Plan We will maintain overall project accountability through regular yearly reports of progress to the sponsor, and peer-review of publications listed in the project plan. We will maintain integrity of quantitative data through attention-check items included in the surveys and reliability calculations performed on results. We will maintain integrity of qualitative data by observing best practices for conducting interview and textual analysis research. Ultimately, the evaluation of the field research will be based on experiments, described above, to test the effectiveness persuasive messages designed based on field research results. Deliverables Deliverables of this project will include publication of field data analyses at the aggregate level, by sport, and by gender, as outlined in the project plan. We will also report findings of the experimental research on message design, and distribute the videos produced for that experiment. Finally we will produce concrete recommendations for best practices regarding: (1) key individual-level vested interests that should be targeted by educational interventions, (2) basic assumptions of participating sports organizations that most discourage responsible concussion reporting and require cultural change efforts, (3) counter-narrative and alternative-narrative formulations that disrupt perceived reporting norms and reprioritize individuals interests, and (4) opportunities for integrating narrative, organizational, and individual interventions to cause maximum change in the culture and behavior of college student athletes.
Effective start/end date2/4/165/31/19


  • National Collegiate Athletic Association: $400,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.