This study aims to uncover and describe stories of progressive cognitive, emotional, and behavioral decline in NFL players, as told by those who may know them best: their wives. The goal of the study was to simply explore and understand this new phenomenon with a group of individuals who had not yet been asked to voice their experiences. For this qualitative study, we conducted interviews with 20 wives of current and retired NFL players. Through thematic analysis of the wives’ narratives, we identified four themes that help to describe the wives’ attitudes and experiences. These were (a) Husbands’ Willingness to Conceal Concussions, (b) Husbands Become Unrecognizable, (c) An Emotional Toll on Wives and Families, and (d) Frustrations with the NFL. Our interviews provided vivid, emotionally charged descriptions of both men and women whose lives were irrevocably altered, presumably by a concussion history related to the game of football.
Concussion, Football, NFL, Wives, Progressive Neurodegenerative Disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Brain Injury, Thematic Analysis
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Recommended APA Citation
Faure, C. E., & Casanova, M. P. (2019). The Fall of the Gladiators: Wives’ Tales of Concussion Reporting and (Possible) Progressive Neurodegenerative Disease in NFL Players. The Qualitative Report, 24(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3461