From Social Isolation to Becoming an Advocate: Exploring Athletes’ Grief Discourse About Lived Concussion Experiences in Online Forums

David Cassilo, Jimmy Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Athletes who sustain concussions endure a variety of physical, mental, emotional, and social isolation effects as they rehabilitate. Accordingly, concussion recovery can induce grieving processes as athletes navigate the loss of athletic participation, social networks, and daily routine disruption. This research sought to gain a richer understanding of athletes’ lived experiences with concussions through grief discourse shared in online narratives. Through an analysis of athletes’ experiences shared via 58 blog posts on three concussion websites, the data reveal how athletes frame the losses that concussions bring into their lives, the subsequent feelings and expressions that result, along with how they eventually cope. The information disclosed in these online spaces can benefit parents, friends, coaches, and others to better understand concussion recovery, thereby enhancing their supportive communication and behaviors towards athletes as they rehabilitate from concussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-696
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication and Sport
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Keywords

  • athletes and concussions
  • grief
  • online forums
  • online support groups
  • sport and health

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