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Professional Practice Rationale and Suggested Dimensions for a Code of Ethics for Sport Psychologists



138 – 150

This paper presents a rationale and suggested dimensions for a detailed code of ethics for sport psychologists. The discussion is based upon a sequential analysis of the topic proceeding from the general to the specific. A detailed discussion of professions and their necessary features is carried out (Bayles, 1981). Publications from 1979 to 1984 are reviewed chronologically to determine what has been written about the field's status as a profession, what perceptions are held about the possible need for a code of ethics, and what has been developing along this line. It is argued that the sport psychologist as a professional has certain obligations to his or her clients, to the public, and to the embryonic profession. It is argued further that the development of a detailed, specific code of ethics for sport psychologists would be another important step toward the total professionalization process. Such a code could be viewed as a system of norms, categorized according to areas of concern (e.g., ethical nature of counselor/athlete relationship), describing what should be the case in the individual's professional practice. Such norms or obligations could be categorized as (a) standards of virtue, (b) principles of responsibility, and (c) rules of duty. Finally, some reasonable conclusions are drawn for the possible use of those concerned.

Authors: Earle F. Zeigler

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