Football team social structure and perceived support for reporting concussion symptoms: Insights from a social network analysis

Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman, Monica Lininger, Patrick C. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Social network analysis (SNA) is a uniquely situated methodology to examine the social connections between players on a team, and how team structure may be related to self-reported team cohesion and perceived support for reporting concussion symptoms. Team belonging was positively associated with number of friendship ties (degree; r =.23, p <.05), intermediate ties between teammates (betweenness; r =.21, p <.05), and support from both teammates (r =.21, p <.05) and important others (r =.21, p <.05) for reporting concussion symptoms. Additionally, an SNA-derived measure of social influence, eigenvector centrality, was associated with football identity (r =.34, p <.01), and less support from important others (r = –.24, p <.05) regarding symptom reporting. Discussion focuses on why consideration of social influence dynamics may help improve concussion-related education efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2019



  • Concussion education
  • Social norms
  • Social ties
  • Team belonging
  • Team structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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