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No Guts, No Glory: What price does she pay to play the game?
No Guts, No Glory: What price does she pay to play the game?
Submitted on 24 Feb 2016

Jimmy Sanderson, Ph.D.1, Melinda R. Weathers, Ph.D.1, Katherine Snedaker, MSW2
1 Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 2 Pink Concussions, Norwalk, Connecticut
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Poster Abstract
Our research investigated male and female athletes experiences with concussions, and specifically, the reasons why these athletes continued to participate in sport after experiencing a concussion by not reporting it.

Using snowball-sampling techniques, a total of 529 women and 314 men who continued to play sport and had experienced a concussion completed an online open-ended questionnaire. The survey consisted of 40 questions of which 16 were open-ended. Participants were asked about their experiences with head injuries while playing organized sports, if they reported/hid their injuries, and if they have any recurrent symptoms now.

Participants also indicated that they did not report concussions due to: (a) lack of perceived resources; (b) lack of perceived severity; (c) lack of awareness; and (d) conformance to sport cultural norms, which was comprised of two sub-themes: adherence to the pain principle and team allegiance.

The results showed gender differences in the reasons athletes reported they hid their concussions. In addition there were several other gender differences such as in frequency of non-sports concussions after athletes retired from sports. The results suggest that efforts to address concussion management in sport need to focus on the communicative and structural elements that privilege hegemonic masculinity and playing through pain, as they contribute to shaping behavior that may prevent athletes from advocating for their health.

1Covassin, T., Elbin, R. J., Harris, W., Parker, T., & Kontos, A. (2012). The role of age and sex in symptoms, neurocognitive performance, and postural stability in athletes after concussion. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 1303-1312.
2Marar, M., McIlvain, N. M., Fields, S. K., & Comstock, R. D. (2012). Epidemiology of concussions among United States high school athletes in 20 sports. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 747-755.
3Fairfax County Public Schools, Mayo Clinic, The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
4Register-Mahilik, J. K., Guskiewicz, K. M., Valovich McLeod, T. C., Linnan, L. A., Mueller, F. O., & Marshall, S. W. (2013). Knowledge, attitude, and concussion-reporting behaviors among high school athletes: A preliminary study. Journal of Athletic Training, 48, 645-653.
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