Power and Trust Dynamics of Sexual Violence: A Textual Analysis of Nassar Victim Impact Statements and #MeToo Disclosures on Twitter

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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Employing a natural language processing approach, we analyzed textual content derived from publicly-available athlete victim impact statements (VIS) from the Larry Nassar trial (N = 111) to examine psychosocial responses to sexual violence. To explore potential differences in a non-sports context, we conducted similar analyses on a sample of #MeToo tweets (N = 45,848). Our research focused on the semantic content of VIS, including positive and negative affect, power and trust dynamics, well-being, and post-traumatic growth. We hypothesized that athletes’ reactions to sexual violence would be more likely to contain language related to power and trust. Traditional null-hypothesis significance testing and network analyses were used to identify the psychosocial indicators unique to sexual violence disclosures in a sports context. Results indicated differential use of language related to negative affect, trust, power dynamics, and post-traumatic growth in sports versus non-sports contexts. We discuss clinical, practical, and policy-based implications for risk reduction and intervention.

Eiler is with the Dept. of Psychological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ. Wayment is with the Dept. of Psychological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ. Al-Kire is with the Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, TX. Doyle is with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Address author correspondence to Brian A. Eiler at brian.eiler@nau.edu.
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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