Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



The study of sport fandom is undertaken in a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to communication, psychology, sociology, economics, marketing and business. These investigations are significant because of the ubiquitous presence of sport fandom in world culture and its interdisciplinary adaptability in academia. To date however, there has not been a consistent conceptual or operational definition of sport fandom and related factors such as spectatorship, involvement and identification. Consequently, this lack of cohesiveness has serious ramifications, including lack of comparability in results and an inability to generate consistent evidence of the validity and reliability of the various self-report measures developed and utilized. This investigation aims to contribute to the stability of the sport communication field by applying previously refined scales (Keaton & Gearhart, 2013) and contributing to their validity portfolios through comparison with a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological measures of team fandom. This endeavor will have multiple effects, namely the development of more consistent and empirically supported operational constructs of sport fandom, recognition of sport fandom’s antecedents and effects, and further understanding the role of communication in this process. In service of these goals, current sport literature is reviewed, followed by an overview of theoretical foundations. Afterwards, theoretical connections between these constructs are posited. Next, the methods, procedures and manipulation checks are detailed, followed by methods triangulation and hypothesis assessment. Finally, relevant theoretical considerations are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Honeycutt, James



Included in

Communication Commons