All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Retta Evans

Advisory Committee Members

Suzanne Judd

Jenna Lachenaye

Despina Sravrinos

Katherine K Weise

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


Purpose: This dissertation applies Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to understand concussion reporting behavior in D-III football players and explores the culture of concussion reporting through qualitative ethnography. Using the SCT constructs, the study investigates the cognitive, environmental, and behavioral factors influencing concussion reporting in D-III football players. The lack of research on how reciprocal determinism affects concussion reporting at the most vulnerable level of competition provides an opportunity to examine the cultural context of concussion reporting. The goal is to develop theoretically-based interventions that increase concussion reporting and change cultural narratives concerning concussion reporting behavior in under-resourced institutions. Methods: This study used SCT constructs through an ethnographic qualitative approach to explore how concussion reporting behavior is shaped in D-III student-athletes. Fourteen male football players from a private university in the Southeastern US were interviewed via Zoom. The data was analyzed using the SCT framework through semi-structured interviews and reviewed to identify high-frequency words, phrases, and statements. Four themes emerged from the transcripts, including concussion impact, reporting and managing concussions on the team, consequences of reporting a concussion, and ensuring well-being and avoiding complications from concussions. Analysis/Results: The study offered insights into concussion reporting behavior among D-III football players. Four themes indicated that players struggle to report concussions due to a desire to keep playing. Creating supportive environments promoting open communication between coaches, players, and training staff, and providing resources to eliminate reporting barriers is crucial. A comprehensive approach involving cognitive, behavioral, and environmental aspects is needed to foster a reporting culture in D-III football players. Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of creating a supportive and safe environment for athletes and provide valuable insights into concussion reporting behavior in D-III football players, with implications for both research and practice. By addressing the complex and multi-faceted nature of concussion reporting behavior, this study contributes to ongoing efforts to promote the health and well-being of athletes in sports. The study serves as a call to action for continued efforts to address the issue of concussions in D-III Football.

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