Linking Coach Interpersonal Style With Athlete Doping Intentions and Doping Use: A Prospective Study

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Curtin University
  • | 2 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • | 3 University of Hong Kong
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We brought together various lines of work on motivation, morality, and doping by testing a theory-based model prospectively linking contextual and personal motivational variables, moral attitudes, moral disengagement in doping, doping intentions, and doping use. Participants were 257 Greek athletes who completed a questionnaire pack at the beginning of a sport season. In the case of doping use, we also obtained data close to the end of the same season. The model showed that perceptions of controlling coach behaviors predicted athlete need frustration, which in turn predicted low moral functioning and doping intentions/doping use. The findings highlight pathways (direct and indirect) by which the social environment may impact on athletes’ intentions and decisions to engage in doping and could pave the way for future antidoping interventions aimed at improving coaching interpersonal style.

Nikos Ntoumanis is with the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Vassilis Barkoukis is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. Daniel F. Gucciardi is with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Derwin King Chung Chan is with the Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong.

Address author correspondence to Nikos Ntoumanis at

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