Tag Archives: parents
A new survey released late last week from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds that nearly one-third (31 percent) of Americans would not allow a young son to play competitive football, a marked shift from last year when only 22 percent said the same. Women are more likely than men to say they would prevent their son from playing, as are Americans with a four-year college degree when compared to those with a high school education or less.
The fourth annual survey of sports and religion, conducted among a random sample of 1,009 Americans by PRRI in partnership with Religion News Service (RNS), examines attitudes about the popularity of different sports, the safety of football, gambling and fantasy sports, concerns about professional football, and prayer and sports.
Full Findings Available Online
Detailed methodology and findings, with demographic breakdowns by religion, race, age, gender and more are available online at: http://publicreligion.org/research/2016/01/survey-nearly-one-third-of-americans-say-they-would-not-let-their-son-play-football/
The survey was designed and conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service. The survey was made possible by a generous grant from The Henry Luce Foundation. Results of the survey were based on bilingual (Spanish and English) telephone interviews conducted between January 20, 2016, and January 24, 2016. Interviews were conducted among a random sample of 1,009 adults 18 years of age or older living in the United States (611 respondents were interviewed on a cell phone). The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.6 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.
Most Americans are aware of the connection between concussions suffered while playing football and long-term brain injury, and that information would influence some Americans’ decision to allow their son to play the sport if they had to make the choice, according to a Marist College study.
About one in three Americans say this knowledge would make them less likely to allow a son to participate in the game. In fact, nearly one in five Americans say this risk would be the key factor in deciding whether or not they would allow their son to step onto the gridiron. About one-third of Americans has become more concerned because of the link between concussions suffered while playing football and long-term brain injury.
“Historically, youth football has fueled the NFL,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “Parents’ concern about the safety of the game could jeopardize the future of the sport.”
Most U.S. adults — 86% — have heard at least a little about the connection between concussions inflicted while on the football field and long-term brain injury. This includes 55% who have heard either a great deal or good amount and 31% who have heard a little about this link. 14% have heard nothing at all about it.
Awareness varies based upon a family’s income. While about two-thirds of Americans who earn $50,000 or more annually — 66% — have heard a great deal or a good amount about the issue, 47% of those who earn less say the same. There are also differences based on education. While 63% of college graduates have heard a great deal or a good amount about the link between these head injuries and long-term brain trauma, 50% of those without a college degree are comparably aware.
Thirty-three percent of Americans say the link between head injuries in football and long-term brain trauma would make them less likely to allow their son to play football if they had to make that choice. Only 7% report it would make them more likely to do so, and 60% say it would make no difference to their decision. Just how many Americans would ultimately allow their son to play the game? 85% would while a notable 13% would not. Two percent are unsure.
For almost one in five Americans — 16%, the risk of long-term brain injury due to youth football participation would be the deciding factor in whether or not to allow their son to play football. And, a majority of U.S. adults — 56% — say it would be one of the factors that influences their decision. 28% report this information would play no role at all in making that choice. Nearly four in ten U.S. residents — 39% — report the recent information about long-term brain injury as a result of concussions incurred while playing football hasn’t changed their level of concern about the game. However, 32% say it has made them more concerned because of the serious risk of long-term brain injury while 30% report it has made them less concerned because coaches, parents, and players are more informed and can take greater precautions.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Seven in ten Americans — 70% — think the benefits of playing football outweigh the risk of injury. However, about one in four — 24% — believe the risk of injury is too high. Seven percent are unsure.
A similar proportion of adults nationally — 74% — think playing football is a good way to build character and boys should be encouraged to play the game. However, one in five — 20% — say the risk of injury is too high to allow boys to play football. Six percent are unsure.
“What will be interesting to watch is if other sports begin to recruit those kids whose parents keep them from football,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “Football’s loss could be the inevitable gain of lacrosse, baseball, or even soccer.”
More Than One in Ten Fans Less Likely to Enjoy Game
The recent information about the link between concussions suffered while playing football and long-term brain injury makes watching the sport less enjoyable for a notable 14% of football fans. Only 2% report it makes the game more enjoyable to watch, and 84% say it makes no difference to their viewing pleasure.
In their own communities, how big of a deal is football? Nearly seven in ten Americans — 69% — report a lot of people follow and talk about the sport. One in four — 25% — say some people are engaged in the game. Only 7% do not follow or talk about football.
Personal injury lawyer Mark Favaloro of Virginia-based Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton didn’t mince words in a recent post about concussions.
“All the lawsuits, whether by parents of injured high schoolers or families of debilitated professional athletes, share a common theme: if the brain is allowed proper time to heal, it can recover from most head injuries,” wrote Favaloro. “The plaintiffs believe that the defendants failed to provide the necessary time to heal, never warning those in their care of the risks associated with what they thought were only minor injuries.
“Parents, players, families and friends are now standing up and using this moment of awareness to tell these various organizations that no game is worth the steep price associated with repeated head injuries.”
Favaloro went on to note that “a host of concussion-related lawsuits have been directed against high schools …The increase in such suits corresponds with an increase in awareness of the risks posed by head injury. Studies have been conducted which are finally revealing the long-term damage such injuries can cause, including severe degenerative brain disease.”