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Spectator Sport and Population Health: A Consultation with U.S. College Athletics Employees

Inoue, Yuhei ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1983-6217, Berg, Brennan K and Chelladurai, Packianathan (2022) Spectator Sport and Population Health: A Consultation with U.S. College Athletics Employees. Journal of Global Sport Management, 7 (1). pp. 21-42. ISSN 2470-4067

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A growing number of studies have been published to understand how spectator sport may influence the health of a population. However, it is unknown if these studies address research questions relevant to professionals engaging in the promotion of spectator sport. We conducted a web-based survey with 136 practitioners employed in U.S. college athletics to identify their research priorities and needs regarding spectator sport’s influence on population health. The combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses show that future research needs to be focused particularly on one of the following research themes: (a) social psychological benefits of sport spectatorship and (b) psychological impact of sport spectatorship. The findings further suggest the integration of environmental well-being and eudaimonic well-being into the domain of population health. Based on these findings, we propose future research directions as informed and guided by the practitioners’ perspectives.

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