Dr. Kim Bissell

Associate Dean for Research
Professor of Journalism
Director, ICIR

Departments: Institute for Communication and Information Research, Journalism

Degree: Ph.D., Syracuse University

Areas of Expertise

Sports communicationMedia effects
Children and MediaHealth communication
Gender and sport


Kim Bissell is the Southern Progress Endowed Professor in Magazine Journalism in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama and serves as the College’s Associate Dean for Research. She also serves as the College’s Director of its research institute, the Institute for Communication & Information Research and the University’s Director of Undergraduate Research.  Her research interests lie in the intersection of media, health, and children, and her recent publications have been related to the role of media in the development of children’s nutritional knowledge and attitudes. She is currently a co-PI on a NIMHD grant that looks at developing effective, sustainable Community-Based Participatory Research to reduce obesity in rural Alabama and received a grant to develop an iPad app, Track My Plate, that teaches children how to track their food consumption and eating behavior. She has studied the social effects of mass media as it relates to body image for more than a decade and has developed media and health literacy programs for children in the areas of health and body image.


Recent Publications

Bissell, K. & Butler, S. (2015). Olympic Effort: Disability, Culture, and Resistance in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Journalism & Communication Monographs, 17(4) 228-273. *Paper presented to the GLBTQ Interest Group at the Annual Meeting of AEJMC in Montreal, Canada, August 2014.

Zhang, M., Bie, B., Conlin, L., McLemore, D., Bissell, K., & Lowrey, P. (accepted, March 2016). Active video game play in African American children: The effect of gender and BMI on exertion and enjoyment. Howard Journal of Communication. Presented to the Minorities & Communication Division for the annual meeting of AEJMC in San Francisco, Calif. 2015.

Lewis, D., Yerby, L., Tucker, M., Payne Foster, P., Hamilton, K., Fifolt, M., Hites, L., Shreves, M.K., Page, S., Bissell, K., Lucky, F., Higginbotham, J. (2016). Bridging community and academic scholars together to facilitate and conduct authentic community based participatory research: Project UNITED. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(1) 35. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph13010035.

Conlin, L., McLemore, D., Zhang, X., Bie, B., & Bissell, K. (accepted, January 2016). Pin it for yourself: Women’s Health and Fitness content on Pinterest. The Journal of Social Media in Society.  

Lewis, D., Yerby, L., Tucker, M., Foster, P., Hamilton, K., Fifolt, M., Hites, L., Shreves, M.K., Page, S., Bissell, K., Lucky, F., & Higginbotham. J. (accepted 2015). Bringing community and academic scholars together to facilitate and conduct community-based participatory research: Project UNITED. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. *Paper presented at the 2014 Minority Health & Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference, Washington, D.C. December 2014.

Mocarski, R., & Bissell, K. (accepted 2015). Edutainment’s impact on health promotion: Viewing The Biggest Loser through the social cognitive theory. Health Promotion Practice.

Bissell, K., Meng, J., & Pan, P. (accepted 2014, in press). YouTube videos as health literacy tools: A test of body image campaign effectiveness. Health Marketing Quarterly, 32(2).

Yan, Y. & Bissell, K. (2015) The Sky is Falling: Predictors of News Coverage of Natural Disasters Worldwide. Communication Research. Published online before print February 26, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0093650215573861.

Butler, S., & Bissell, K. (2015). “The Best that I Can Be”: Framing Disability Through the Mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympics. Communication & Sport, 3(2): 1-17.

Bissell, K., Parrott, S., & Butler, S. (2015, in press). Dora the Explorer or Hannah Montana?: The Role of Exposure to Animated and Live-Action Entertainment Television and Children’s Implicit and Explicit Weight Bias. Journal of Child Health and Human Development. Accepted August 2013. *First place faculty paper in the Mass Communication Division at the annual meeting of BEA in Las Vegas, NV.

Billings, A., Bissell, K., Reichart-Smith, L., & Brown, N. (2014). Where the boys and girls are; Where the boys and girls “should be: Attitudes about sport gender-typing. Modern Sport Communication, 1: 130-151.

Conlin, L., & Bissell, K. (2014). Beauty ideals in the checkout aisle: Health-related messages in women’s fashion and fitness magazines. Journal of Magazine & New Media Research, 15(2): 1-17.

Yan, Y. & Bissell, K. (2104). The globalization of beauty: How is ideal beauty influenced by globally published fashion and beauty magazines? Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. DOI: 10.1080/17475759.2014.917432 *Paper presented to the International Conference on Intercultural Communication, Wuhan, China, Dec. 2011.

Billings, A.C., Angelini, J.R., MacArthur, P.J., Bissell, K., Smith, L.R., & Brown, N. (2014).  Where the differences really reside: The ‘big five’ sports featured in NBC’s 2012 London primetime Olympic telecast.  Communication Research Reports, 31(2): 141-153.

Billings, A.J., Angelini, J., MacArthur, P., Bissell, K., & Reichart Smith, L. (2014). Competing Separately, Medalling Equally: Racial Depictions of Athletes in NBC’s Primetime Broadcast of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Howard Journal of Communication, 25(2): 115-133.

Billings, A.C., Angelini, J.R., MacArthur, P.J., Bissell, K., & Smith, L.R. (2014).  (Re)calling London: The gender frame agenda within NBC’s primetime broadcast of the 2012 Olympiad.  Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 91(1): 38-58.

Smith, L.R. , & Bissell, K. (2014). Nice dig! An analysis of the visual and verbal coverage of men’s and women’s beach volley during the 2008 Olympic Games. Communication & Sport, 2: 48-64.

Bissell, K., Zhang, C., & Meadows, C. (2104). A Wii, a Mii, and a new me? Testing the effectiveness of Wii exergames on children’s enjoyment, engagement, and exertion in physical activity. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 7(1). *Paper presented at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport annual meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, July 2012.