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Disabling Prejudice: A Case Study of Images of Paralympic Athletes and Attitudes Toward People With Disabilities

David Welch Suggs Jr. and Jason Lee Guthrie

Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society” by exposing people to adaptive sports, with the goal of improving public views toward people with disabilities. The authors hypothesized that exposure to parasocial contact with images of athletes with disabilities could lead to a change in attitude during the formation of social identity, disrupting the tendency to view the population of individuals with physical disabilities as “other. ” This case study found that viewing a documentary of a Paralympic sprinter produced in the same style as an Olympic feature appeared to affect the emotional components of attitude formation, especially when compared with respondents who viewed a comparable documentary about an able-bodied athlete. These findings are of interest to proponents of adaptive sports, producers of adaptive-sports media, and marketers who use athletes with disabilities in advertising campaigns.

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Sports Media as Empathy Facilitator: The Contrasting Influence of Paralympic and Olympic Content

Kim Bissell, Andrew C. Billings, and Bumsoo Park

overwhelming majority of those watching a Paralympic performance will do so via media, contrasting parasocial interaction (PSI) with the parasocial contact hypothesis (PCH) appears the most logical lens for communicative investigation. Each theory represents the most appropriate lens for investigation as both

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A Program and Session Evaluation of Student-Athletes’ Experiences Participating in a Mental Illness Destigmatization Intervention

Graig M. Chow, Nicole T. Gabana, Charles Cox, Brandon T. Cooper, and Matthew D. Bird

interventions have been successful. MHL programs for athletes have shown reduced stigma ( Bu et al., 2020 ), empathy-based multimedia videos are linked to enhanced referral efficacy (e.g.,  Van Raalte et al., 2015 ), and parasocial contact (i.e., engaging in a one-sided relationship through media) to more