“I hate you man!”: Exploring maladaptive parasocial interaction expressions to college athletes via Twitter.

James Sanderson, Carrie Truax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There has been an increasing trend of fans attacking college athletes via Twitter after athletic contests. These messages often contain hostile and vitriolic language that in many cases, make national sport news headlines. The present study explored this behavior through the lens of maladaptive parasocial interaction (Kassing & Sanderson, in press) by investigating tweets directed at University of Alabama placekicker Cade Foster after Alabama lost their rivalry game against Auburn University on November 30, 2013. Using Radian6 software, a total of 938 tweets were analyzed. Analysis revealed that maladaptive parasocial interaction manifested in the following ways: (a) belittling; (b) mocking; (c) sarcasm; and (d) threats. Interestingly, and unexpectedly, a host of supportive comments were conveyed to Foster as well. The results suggest that athletic department personnel must provide resources and education for college athletes on coping with these messages to mitigate potentially negat
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-351
JournalJournal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
StatePublished - 2014

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