Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Keith Weber, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sara LaBelle, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mark Hopson, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Waldeck, Ph.D.


Each year within the United States 73% of children and adolescents participate in some form of organized sport (Aspen Institute, 2020). This participation results in a high rate of injury necessitating 2.6 million emergency room visits each year (Merkel, 2013). Over half of these injuries incurred in youth sport are deemed overuse injuries (Valovich McLeod et al., 2011), which are a leading cause in the high attrition rate seen in youth athletics today (Persson et al., 2020; Mangan, 2018). In order to decrease the prevalence of these overuse injuries, the proper education of, and adherence to, certain recommended sport behaviors is advised (DiFiori et al., 2014; Stein & Micheli, 2015). Toward this end, one source which may advocate for youth athletes to engage in these behaviors are their parents (DiFirori et al., 2014). Resultantly, (N = 331) parents of youth athletes were sampled and randomly exposed to educational messages advocating for the adoption of these recommended sport behaviors. These messages were framed according to the tenets of Prospect Theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) in order to test the impact of message framing on the beliefs that parents hold toward each of these behavioral recommendations. It was hypothesized that parents exposed to a gain-frame message highlighting what their child may gain as a result of engaging in these behaviors would indicate higher levels of behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and intent toward adhering to these behaviors than those exposed to a loss-frame message. Data indicate that parents were able to discern differences between message frames, however they do not support each of the forwarded vi hypotheses. These results provide further insight into the impact framed messages may have in this unique communicative setting as well as highlight several areas of inquiry for future analysis.

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