Essays in Education


Mediated portrayals of student-athletes can provide strong role models for realworld student-athletes. This research explored the images of student-athletes in sportrelated films regarding depictions of drug and alcohol use. A content analysis of six sport-related films released between 1994 and 2000 was conducted 1) to address whether such films accurately depicted drug and alcohol use among student-athletes and 2) to consider how these presentations might impact viewers who are, themselves, high school student-athletes. Results suggested that the films reinforced the notion that student-athletes are supposed to experiment with drugs and alcohol as a part of the social role relative to sport participation. Further, films suggested experimentation could take place with little or no consequence. Thus, sport films likely counteract progress made through educational initiatives aimed at curbing drug and alcohol use among student-athletes.

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