Moral Identity Predicts Doping Likelihood via Moral Disengagement and Anticipated Guilt

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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In this study, we integrated elements of social cognitive theory of moral thought and action and the social cognitive model of moral identity to better understand doping likelihood in athletes. Participants (N = 398) recruited from a variety of team sports completed measures of moral identity, moral disengagement, anticipated guilt, and doping likelihood. Moral identity predicted doping likelihood indirectly via moral disengagement and anticipated guilt. Anticipated guilt about potential doping mediated the relationship between moral disengagement and doping likelihood. Our findings provide novel evidence to suggest that athletes, who feel that being a moral person is central to their self-concept, are less likely to use banned substances due to their lower tendency to morally disengage and the more intense feelings of guilt they expect to experience for using banned substances.

Maria Kavussanu and Christopher Ring are with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Maria Kavussanu at m.kavussanu@bham.ac.uk.
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