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The present study examined the stability of athletes' legitimacy judgments and behavioral intentions over the course of a basketball season and the relationship between these factors to actual behavior. The 49 female basketball players responded to a questionnaire that was derived from Bredemeier's (1985) Continuum of Injurious Acts. The preseason legitimacy rating of aggressive actions made by first-year basketball players were significantly higher than those made by more experienced players, but by the end of the season the first-year participants' ratings had dropped to a level comparable to their more experienced teammates. Preseason legitimacy judgments were found to predict player aggression during the season. Interpretation of the findings and recommendations for future direction in this area are discussed.
M. Kathleen Ryan is with the Dept. of University Sports at Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98122. Jean M. Williams and Beverly Wimer are with the Dept. of Exercise & Sport Sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.