Influence and Impact
Australian Sport Gambling Industry: The Normalisation of the Sports Betting Industry and Its Effects on Adolescents and Young Adults in Australia View Digital Media
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of the sports betting industry among adolescents and young adults in Australia by addressing the pros and cons of the sports betting industry. While the sport betting industry proposes various issues, it is important to also acknowledge the benefits of it, including its accessibility and form of entertainment for sport fans.To further understand the underlying issues that may arise from sports betting, the paper draws upon similar issues such as the exposure of alcohol and tobacco products which have previously received the attention of policymakers and educational institutions. By drawing on similar issues, it also allows for determining necessary harm minimisation strategies for sport betting. The study recommends that educational institutions such as schools could implement effective programs that can address the consequences of gambling. In addition, policymakers should limit the number of sports betting promotions allowed and examine whether the legal gambling age should be increased.
Finding Meaning in Life in Middle and Late Adulthood: Impact on Former Athletes' Subjective and Psychological Well-Being
From an Eriksonian perspective of the Life Span Psychosocial theory, finding meaning in life is of critical importance during middle and late adulthood to promote personal growth and optimal human functioning. Using a person-centered approach, we aimed to identify distinct profiles of meaning in life from former athletes aged 40-65 years old. We also assessed how these profiles differed according to well-being measures to better understand the impact of having meaning in life (or the lack thereof) on individuals’ psychosocial functioning. While the benefits of participating in intercollegiate athletics are numerous, it has been noted that the athletic environment may not offer an optimal context for the development of a psychosocial identity and future adjustments to life transitions. Given the scant research on the well-being of former athletes, we conducted a cluster analysis on a sample of 394 former NCAA college athletes using the two subscales of Meaning Life Questionnaire (i.e., presence and search) and performed MANOVA to assess differences in the resulting clusters on well-being outcomes. Based on the four-cluster solution that we deemed to be the best solution, we found that individuals assigned to a cluster characterized by high presence of meaning and low search for meaning in life exhibited significantly better career and psychosocial functioning than those assigned to a cluster characterized by low presence of meaning and high search for meaning in life. The absence of meaning in life appeared to significantly diminish the subjective and psychological well-being of former athletes in middle and late adulthood.
Navigating Fandom: How User-generated Content Reflects the Impact of Macro Influences on the Importance of Sport in Society View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Sam Duncan
Despite the global cancellations of sport due to COVID-19, the Australian Football League (AFL) commenced the 2020 season in empty stadiums. It was for short time one of the only sports still played globally, before the league eventually postponed the season days later. At the time, these handful of games acted as a beacon of hope and a distraction for fans to connect with their sport and teams, albeit with consumption limited to media platforms, with no fans in attendance. This paper uses qualitative thematic coding to analyse user generated content from Twitter (n=2484) and to explore how fans engaged with, integrated, and responded to sport in a global crisis, as well as how they navigated and rationalised their fan experience during this unprecedented time. It provides a particular focus on how macro influences, such as COVID-19 and other social issues, impact perceptions of sport’s role and importance in society. The study highlights the constructs of fandom that regulate fan sentiment, illustrates the depth of a fan’s relationship with sport based on moral and ethical identification and reinforces the need for sporting organisations to connect with fans on a social level, rather than simply offering a form of entertainment, amusement, or distraction.