Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
School of Public Health
The goal of this study is to identify patterns of reported abuse in the U.S. Center for SafeSport Centralized Disciplinary Database, which tracks violations of SafeSport code across different American sports.This study was informed by 1164 individuals listed in the SafeSport database for violations of SafeSport code, which were adjudicated between January 1, 1980 and January 16, 2020. Data were analyzed to identify trends based on year, sport, type of misconduct, and other characteristics. Logistic regressions were performed to identify characteristics that were associated with cases involving sexual misconduct, or involvement of a minor. Of the 1164 cases in the database, adjudicated between January 1, 1980 and January 16, 2020, 1159 distinct individuals were represented, with 5 individuals listed multiple times. 40 different sports had affiliated individuals in the database. U.S.A Gymnastics (N=217, 18.6%), U.S.A Swimming (N=185, 15.9%), and U.S.A Hockey (N=110, 9.5%) had the highest number of affiliated individuals. Over half the individuals in the database had decision dates in 2017 or later. We dichotomized the misconduct listed based on offense type, specifically, whether cases mentioned sexual misconduct (N=527; 45.5%) or not (N=632; 54.5%). Individuals who perpetrated sexual misconduct tended to be affiliated with sports which were characterized by low (p<0.01) or moderate (p<0.01) levels of clothing coverage, non-team sports (p<0.01), male gender culture (p=0.01) and mixed-gender events (p<0.01). 473 out of 1159 unique (40.1%) individuals perpetrated abuse, misconduct, or harassment of a child under the age of 18. These individuals tended to be affiliated with sports characterized by high levels of clothing coverage (p<0.01), female gender culture (p=0.05), and same-gender events (p<0.01). The association between the reports and characteristics of sports such as team structure, level of clothing coverage, gender culture, and mixed-gender events may indicate true risk factors for misconduct or a stronger culture of reporting or sanctioning in these sports. Further analysis of reported violations of SafeSport code may help identify trends in American athlete victimization, as well as potential intervention targets.
Naushad, Nida, "Patterns Of Athlete Abuse In The U.s. Center For Safesport Central Disciplinary Database" (2021). Public Health Theses. 2081.