Media Portrayals of Athlete-Perpetrated Intimate Partner Violence: An Examination of the Social Ecological Model, Race, and Communication Perceptions

in International Journal of Sport Communication
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Kentucky
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $66.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $88.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $125.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $167.00

This study examined how participants responded to incidents of athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence in two separate contexts: one featuring an athlete from a league that is at peak popularity among sports audiences (National Football League; NFL) and one featuring an athlete from an up-and-coming league that currently has a lower standing in professional sports (Ultimate Fighting Championship League; UFC). The authors used the social ecological model to qualitatively analyze participant perceptions about athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence composite news packages. For the purpose of this study specifically, they centered on 1,124 responses to one of the open-ended qualitative questions asked in a larger quantitative experiment. The authors found that the participants most frequently attributed the perpetrator’s behavior to either individual or relationship-level reasons and that there were differences in the level attributed for participants of different races and ethnicities. They also determined that the participants were more likely to ascribe the violence to the suspect’s job (i.e., athlete) if they were a UFC fighter than an NFL player. Theoretical extensions of the social ecological model and practical implications for journalists, the media, and fans are offered.

Scarduzio, Lewis, and Limperos are with the Dept. of Communication, and Walker, the College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KA, USA.

Scarduzio (jennifer.scarduzio@uky.edu) is corresponding author.
  • Aldarondo, E., Kaufman Kantor, G., & Jasinski, J.L. (2002). A risk marker analysis of wife assault in Latino families. Violence Against Women, 8(4), 429454. doi:10.1177/107780120200800403

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Altheide, D.L. (2000). Tracking discourse and qualitative document analysis. Poetics, 27(4), 287299. doi:10.1016/S0304-422X(00)00005-X

  • Baral, S., Logie, C., Grosso, A., Wirtz, A.L., & Beyrer, C. (2013). Modified social ecological model: A tool to guide the assessment of the risks and risk contexts of HIV epidemics. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 482. PubMed ID: 23679953 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-482

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bjornstrom, E.E.S., Kaufman, R.L., Peterson, R.D., & Slater, M.D. (2010). Race and ethnic representations of lawbreakers and victims in crime news: A national story of television coverage. Social Problems, 57(2), 269293. PubMed ID: 20640244 doi:10.1525/sp.2010.57.2.269

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bullock, C.F. (2010). Framing domestic violence fatalities: Coverage by Utah newspapers. Women’s Studies in Communication, 30(1), 3463. doi:10.1080/07491409.2007.10162504

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bullock, C.F., & Cubert, J. (2002). Coverage of domestic violence fatalities by newspapers in Washington state. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17(5), 475499. doi:10.1177/0886260502017005001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Caetano, R., Ramisetty-Mikler, S., & Harris, R. (2010). Neighborhood characteristics as predictors of male to female and female to male partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(11), 19862009. PubMed ID: 20040713 doi:10.1177/0886260509354497

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cammack, P. (2017, August 24). Judging the quality of teaching: Local and European perspectives on the evaluation of teaching. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark. https://www.eera-ecer.de/ecer-programmes/conference/22/contribution/40418/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Campbell, R., Dworkin, E., & Cabral, G. (2009). An ecological model of the impact of sexual assault on women’s mental health. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 10(3), 225246. PubMed ID: 19433406 doi:10.1177/1524838009334456

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carlyle, K.E., Slater, M.D., & Chakroff, J.L. (2008). Newspaper coverage of intimate partner violence: Skewing representations of risk. Journal of Communication, 58(1), 168186. PubMed ID: 21297889 doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00379.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CBS News. (2014). Chris Brown offers advice for Ray Rice. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chris-brown-offers-advice-for-ray-rice/

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020a). https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020b). The social-ecological model: A framework for prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/publichealthissue/social-ecologicalmodel.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Channon, A., & Matthews, C.R. (2015). “It is what it is”: Masculinity, homosexuality, and inclusive discourse in mixed martial arts. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(7), 936956. PubMed ID: 25603357 doi:10.1080/00918369.2015.1008280

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Connell, R.W. (1995). Masculinities. Polity.

  • Cummings, A.M., Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., & Sandoval, M.F. (2013). Intimate partner violence among his Hispanics: A review of the literature. Journal of Family Violence, 28(2), 153171. doi:10.1007/s10896-012-9478-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cunradi, C. (2009). Intimate partner violence among Hispanic men and women: the role of drinking, neighborhood disorder, and acculturation-related factors. Violence & Victims, 24(1), 8397. PubMed ID: 19297887 doi:10.1891/0886-6708.24.1.83

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Denham, A.C, Frasier, P.Y., Hooten, E.G., Belton, L., Newton, W., Gonzalez, P., … Campbell, M.K. (2007). Intimate partner violence among Latinas in Eastern North Carolina. Violence Against Women, 13(2) 123140. PubMed ID: 17251501 doi:10.1177/1077801206296983

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Downey, G. (2014). “As real as it gets!” Producing hyperviolence in Mixed Martial Arts. Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies, 5, 128. doi:10.18573/j.2014.10268

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ESPN. (2018, May 23). ESPN to broadcast 30 UFC events per year during 5-year deal. ESPN. https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/23581729/espn-ufc-reach-five-year-television-rights-deal

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Entman, R.M. (1993). Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4), 5158. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1993.tb01304.x.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Field, C.A., & Caetano, R. (2003). Longitudinal model predicting partner violence among White, Black, and Hispanic couples in the United States. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(9), 14511458. PubMed ID: 14506406 doi:10.1097/01.ALC.0000086066.70540.8C

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gamson, J. (1994). Claims to fame: Celebrity in contemporary America. University of California Press.

  • Gamson, W.A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Sasson, T. (1992). Media images and the social construction of reality. Annual Review of Sociology, 18(1), 373393. doi:10.1146/annurev.so.18.080192.002105

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geyerman, C.B. (2016). The NFL’s “violence against women problem”: Media framing and the perpetuation of domestic abuse. Studies in Popular Culture, 38(2), 99124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goffman, E. (1974). Frame analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. Harper & Row.

  • Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Ortega, J., Vasquez, E.P., & De Santis, J. (2010). La mancha negra: Substance abuse, violence and sexual risks among Hispanic males. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 32(1) 128148. doi:10.1177/0193945909343594

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Vasquez, E.P., Urrutia, M.T., Villarruel, A.M., & Peragallo, N. (2011). Hispanic women’s experiences with substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and risk for HIV. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 22(1), 4654. PubMed ID: 21191036 doi:10.1177/1043659610387079

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HBO. (2015, July 21). Uncaged: Domestic violence in MMA. HBO Real Sports. https://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel

  • Iyengar S. (1991). Is anyone responsible? How television frames political issues. University of Chicago Press.

  • Johnson, N.L., Holmes, S.C., & Johnson, D.M. (2016). It is and it is not: The importance of context when exploring gender differences in perpetration of physical partner violence. Journal of Family Violence, 31(8), 9991003. doi:10.1007/s10896-016-9858-3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kanuha, V. (1994). Women of color in battering relationships. In L. Comas-Dias & B. Greene (Eds.), Women of color: Integrating ethnic and gender identities in psychotherapy (pp. 428454). Guilford Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly, J., & Payton, E. (2019). A content analysis of local media framing of intimate partner violence. Violence and Gender, 6(1), 4752. doi:10.1089/vio.2018.0019

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lapchick, R. (2019). The 2019 racial and gender report card: National Football League. Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. https://www.tidesport.org/racial-gender-report-card

  • Leitsinger, M. (2015, December 31). Year in review: The top stories of 2014. NBC News.

  • Lindenberg, S., Janneke, J.F., & Diederik, S.A. (2011). The norm-activity power of celebrity: The dynamics of success and influence. Social Psychology Quarterly, 74(1), 98120. doi:10.1177/0190272511398208

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lown, E.A., & Vega, W.A. (2001). Prevalence and predictors of physical partner abuse among Mexican American women. American Journal of Public Health, 91(3), 441445. PubMed ID: 11236411 doi:10.2105/AJPH.91.3.441

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lukas, M. (2019, May 10). NFL vs. UFC: Revenue, salaries, viewership, attendance, and ratings. https://www.wsn.com/nfl/nfl-vs-ufc/

  • Maxwell, K.A., Huxford, J., Borum, C., & Hornik, R. (2000). Covering domestic violence: How the O.J. Simpson case shaped reporting of domestic violence in the news media. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(2), 258272. doi:10.1177/107769900007700203

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McClearen, J. (2017). “We are all fighters”: The transmedia marketing of difference in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). International Journal of Communication, 11, 32243241.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meyers, M. (1997). News coverage of violence against women: Engendering blame. Sage Publications.

  • Messner, M. (2002). Taking the field: Women, men, and sports. University of Minnesota Press.

  • Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Sage.

  • Moreno, C. (2007). The relationship between culture, gender, structural factors, abuse, trauma, and HIV/AIDS for Latinas. Qualitative Health Research, 17(13), 340352. PubMed ID: 17301342 doi:10.1177/1049732306297387

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oriol, X., Miranda, R., Amutio, A., Acosta, H.C., Mendoza, M.C., & Torres-Vallejos, J. (2017). Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying, and depression in early and late adolescence. PLoS One, 12(3), e0174139. PubMed ID: 28358905 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174139

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paek, H.-J., & Hove, T. (2012). Determinants of underage college student drinking: Implications for four major alcohol reduction strategies. Journal of Health Communication, 17(6), 659676. PubMed ID: 22273563 doi:10.1080/10810730.2011.635765

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pepin, J.R. (2016). Nobody’s business? White male privilege in media coverage of intimate partner violence. Sociological Spectrum, 36(3), 123141. doi:10.1080/02732173.2015.1108886

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Richie, B.E. (2012). Arrested justice: Black women, violence, and America’s prison nation. NYU Press.

  • Richie, B.E., & Kanuha, V. (1993). Battered women of color in public health care systems: Racism, sexism, and violence. In B. Bair & S.E. Cayleff (Eds.), Wings of gauze: Women of color and the experience of health and illness (pp. 288289). Wayne State University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, C., Anastario, M., & Dacunha, A. (2006). Changing coverage of domestic violence murders: A longitudinal experiment in participatory communication. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(2), 209228. PubMed ID: 16368762 doi:10.1177/0886260505282285

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Savage, M.W., Scarduzio, J.A., Harris, K.L., & Carlyle, K.E. (2017). A mixed-method study of intimate partner violence: How sex and severity impact perceptions of perpetrator prior involvement, abnormality, and responsibility. Victims & Violence, 32(5), 897918. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-16-00100

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Savage, M.W., Scarduzio, J.A., Harris, K.L., Carlyle, K.E., & Sheff, S.E. (2017). News stories of intimate partner violence: An experimental examination of participant sex, perpetrator sex, and violence severity on seriousness, sympathy, and punishment preferences. Health Communication, 32(6), 768776. PubMed ID: 27676613 doi:10.1080/10410236.2016.1217453

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scarduzio, J.A., Carlyle, K.E., Harris, K.L., & Savage, M.W. (2017). “Maybe she was provoked”: Exploring gender stereotypes of male and female victims of intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 23(1), 89113. PubMed ID: 27020376 doi:10.1177/1077801216636240

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schudson, M. (1989). How culture works: Perspectives from media studies on the efficacy of symbols. Theory and Society, 18(2), 153180. doi:10.1007/BF00160753

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spencer, E.A., & Limperos, A.M. (2020). ESPN’s coverage of intimate partner violence in the National Football League. Communication & Sport, 8(1), 325. doi:10.1177/2167479518817759

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sternheimer, K. (2013). Connecting social problems and popular culture: Why media is not the answer. Westview Press.

  • Tracy, S.J. (2019). Qualitive research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Vagianos, A. (2014, October 23). 30 shocking domestic violence statistics that remind us it’s an epidemic. The Huffington Post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Kasteren, Y.F., Lewis, L.K., & Maeder, A. (2020). Office-based physical activity: Mapping a social ecological approach against COM-B. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 163174. doi:10.1186/s12889-020-8280-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yoshihama, M., Blazevski, J., & Bybee, D. (2020). Gender (a) symmetry in correlates of perpetration of intimate partner violence: Gender (a) symmetry in IPV and the role of gender attitudes. Violence Against Women, 26(9), 10331054. PubMed ID: 31187698 doi:10.1177/1077801219848488

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yoshioka, M.R., & Choi, D.Y. (2005). Culture and interpersonal violence research: Paradigm shift to create a full continuum of domestic violence services. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(4), 513519. doi:10.1177/0886260504267758

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 752 752 58
Full Text Views 25 25 1
PDF Downloads 22 22 1