A Moral Intervention Reduces Doping Likelihood in British and Greek Athletes: Evidence From a Cluster Randomized Control Trial

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Birmingham
  • | 2 Canterbury Christ Church University
  • | 3 California State University
  • | 4 University of Thessaly
  • | 5 Loughborough University
Restricted access

Objectives: The authors aimed to develop a moral intervention and to determine whether it was more effective in preventing doping than an educational (i.e., knowledge-based) intervention; their primary outcome was doping likelihood, and the secondary outcomes were moral identity, moral disengagement, moral atmosphere, and anticipated guilt. Methods: Eligible athletes (N = 303) in the United Kingdom and Greece took part in the study. The authors randomly assigned 33 clubs to either the moral or the educational intervention. They measured outcomes pre- and postintervention and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Results: Athletes in both interventions in both countries reported lower doping likelihood and moral disengagement and higher guilt from pre- to postintervention. These effects were maintained at the 3- and 6-month follow-ups. There were no effects on moral identity or moral atmosphere. Conclusions: In addition to disseminating information about doping, doping prevention programs should include content that focuses on moral variables.

Kavussanu and Ring are with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Hurst is with Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, United Kingdom. Yukhymenko-Lescroart is with California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA. Galanis and Hatzigeorgiadis are with the University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece. King is with Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom.

Kavussanu (m.kavussanu@bham.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Material (PDF 349 KB)
  • Aquino, K., Freeman, D., Reed, A., II, Lim, V.K., & Felps, W. (2009). Testing a social-cognitive model of moral behavior: The interactive influence of situations and moral identity centrality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(1), 123141. PubMed ID: 19586244 doi:10.1037/a0015406

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aquino, K., & Reed, I. (2002). The self-importance of moral identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(6), 14231440. PubMed ID: 12500822 doi:10.1037/0022-3514.83.6.1423

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Backhouse, S., Whitaker, L., Patterson, L., Erickson, K., & McKenna, J. (2016). Social psychology of doping in sport: A mixed studies narrative synthesis. Montreal, Canada: World Anti-Doping Agency.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bandura, A. (1997). Psychological modeling: Conflicting theoriesNew Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

  • Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(3), 193209. PubMed ID: 15661671 doi:10.1207/s15327957pspr0303_3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barkoukis, V., Kartali, K., Lazuras, L., & Tsorbatzoudis, H. (2016). Evaluation of an anti-doping intervention for adolescents: Findings from a school-based study. Sport Management Review, 19(1), 2334. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2015.12.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benson, A.J., Bruner, M.W., & Eys, M. (2017). A social identity approach to understanding the conditions associated with antisocial behaviors among teammates in female teams. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 6(2), 129142. doi:10.1037/spy0000090

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bloom, H.S. (1995). Minimum detectable effects: A simple way to report the statistical power of experimental designs. Evaluation Review, 19(5), 547556. doi:10.1177/0193841X9501900504

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boardley, I.D., Smith, A.L., Mills, J.P., Grix, J., & Wynne, C. (2017). Empathic and self-regulatory processes governing doping behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1495. PubMed ID: 29018370 doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01495

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bustamante, A., & Chaux, E. (2014). Reducing moral disengagement mechanisms: A comparison of two interventions. Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies, 6(1), 5254. doi:10.18085/llas.6.1.123583644qq115t3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Campbell, M.K., Piaggio, G., Elbourne, D.R., & Altman, D.G. (2012). CONSORT 2010 statement: Extension to cluster randomised trials. British Medical Journal, 328,(7441) 702708. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7441.702

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de Hon, O., Kuipers, H., & van Bottenburg, M. (2015). Prevalence of doping use in elite sports: A review of numbers and methods. Sports Medicine, 45(1), 5769. PubMed ID: 25169441 doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0247-x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elbe, A.-M., & Brand, R. (2016). The effect of an ethical decision-making training on young athletes’ attitudes toward doping. Ethics & Behavior, 26(1), 3244. doi:10.1080/10508422.2014.976864

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elliot, D.L., Goldberg, L., Moe, E.L., Defrancesco, C.A., Durham, M.B., & Hix-Small, H. (2004). Preventing substance use and disordered eating: Initial outcomes of the ATHENA (athletes targeting healthy exercise and nutrition alternatives) program. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 158(11), 10431049. PubMed ID: 15520341 doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.11.1043

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elliot, D.L., Goldberg, L., Moe, E.L., DeFrancesco, C.A., Durham, M.B., McGinnis, W., & Lockwood, C. (2008). Long-term outcomes of the ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives) program for female high school athletes. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 52(2), 7392. PubMed ID: 19081833

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Erickson, K., Patterson, L.B., & Backhouse, S.H. (2019). “The process isn’t a case of report it and stop”: Athletes’ lived experience of whistleblowing on doping in sport. Sport Management Review, 22(5), 724735. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2018.12.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Feingold, A. (2009). Effect sizes for growth-modeling analysis for controlled clinical trials in the same metric as for classical analysis. Psychological Methods, 14(1), 4353. PubMed ID: 19271847 doi:10.1037/a0014699

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, L., & Elliot, D.L. (2005). Preventing substance use among high school athletes: The ATLAS and ATHENA programs. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(2), 6387. doi:10.1300/J370v21n02_05

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, L., Elliot, D.L., Clarke, G.N., MacKinnon, D.P., Moe, E., Zoref, L., . . . Miller, D.J. (1996). Effects of a multidimensional anabolic steroid prevention intervention: The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) program. JAMA, 276(19), 15551562. PubMed ID: 8918852 doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540190027025

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, L., Elliot, D.L., MacKinnon, D.P., Moe, E., Kuehl, K.S., Nohre, L., & Lockwood, C.M. (2003). Drug testing athletes to prevent substance abuse: Background and pilot study results of the SATURN (Student Athlete Testing Using Random Notification) study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 32(1), 1625. PubMed ID: 12507797 doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00444-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, L., MacKinnon, D.P., Elliot, D.L., Moe, E.L., Clarke, G., & Cheong, J. (2000). The adolescents training and learning to avoid steroids program: Preventing drug use and promoting health behaviors. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 154(4), 332338. PubMed ID: 10768668 doi:10.1001/archpedi.154.4.332

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gucciardi, D.F., Jalleh, G., & Donovan, R.J. (2010). Does social desirability influence the relationship between doping attitudes and doping susceptibility in athletes? Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 479486. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.06.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurst, P., Ring, C., & Kavussanu, M. (2020). An evaluation of UK athletics’ clean sport programme in preventing doping in junior elite athletes. Performance Enhancement & Health, 7(3–4), 100155. doi:10.1016/j.peh.2019.100155

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M. (2019). Toward an understanding of transgressive behavior in sport: Progress and prospects. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 42, 3339. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.01.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Elbe, A.-M., & Ring, C. (2016). The moral disengagement in doping scale. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 24, 188198. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.02.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., & Ntoumanis, N. (2003). Participation in sport and moral functioning: Does ego orientation mediate their relationship? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 25(4), 501518. doi:10.1123/jsep.25.4.501

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2017). Moral identity predicts doping likelihood via moral disengagement and anticipated guilt. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39(4), 293301. PubMed ID: 29111866 doi:10.1123/jsep.2016-0333

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., Roberts, G.C., & Ntoumanis, N. (2002). Contextual influences on moral functioning of college basketball players. The Sport Psychologist, 16(4), 347367. doi:10.1123/tsp.16.4.347

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., & Spray, C.M. (2006). Contextual influences on moral functioning of male youth footballers. The Sport Psychologist, 20(1), 123. doi:10.1123/tsp.20.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kavussanu, M., Yukhymenko-Lescroart, M.A., Elbe, A.-M., & Hatzigeorgiadis, A. (2020). Integrating moral and achievement variables to predict doping likelihood in football: A cross-cultural investigation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 47, 101518. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.04.008

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kozlowski, S. W., Chao, G. T., Grand, J. A., Braun, M. T., & Kuljanin, G. (2013). Advancing multilevel research design: Capturing the dynamics of emergence. Organizational Research Methods, 16(4), 581615. doi:10.1177/1094428113493119

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lazuras, L., Barkoukis, V., & Tsorbatzoudis, H. (2015). Toward an integrative model of doping use: An empirical study with adolescent athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 37(1), 3750. PubMed ID: 25730890 doi:10.1123/jsep.2013-0232

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lucidi, F., Mallia, L., Alivernini, F., Chirico, A., Manganelli, S., Galli, F., . . . Zelli, A. (2017). The effectiveness of a new school-based media literacy intervention on adolescents’ doping attitudes and supplements use. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 749. PubMed ID: 28536552 doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00749

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lucidi, F., Zelli, A., Mallia, L., Grano, C., Russo, P.M., & Violani, C. (2008). The social-cognitive mechanisms regulating adolescents' use of doping substances. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(5), 447456. PubMed ID: 18274942 doi:10.1080/02640410701579370

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marschall, D., Sanftner, J., & Tangney, J.P. (1994). The state shame and guilt scale. Fairfax, VA: George Mason University.

  • Moher, D., Hopewell, S., Schulz, K.F., Montori, V., Gøtzsche, P.C., Devereaux, P., . . . Altman, D.G. (2012). CONSORT 2010 explanation and elaboration: Updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. International Journal of Surgery, 10(1), 2855. PubMed ID: 22036893 doi:10.1016/j.ijsu.2011.10.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Muthén, L. K., & Muthen, B. (1998–2017). Mplus user's guide: Statistical analysis with latent variables, user's guide. Muthén & Muthén.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Muthén, L.K., & Muthén, B. (2012–2019). Mplus (version 8.4). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.

  • Nicholls, A. R., Morley, D., Thompson, M. A., Huang, C., Abt, G., Rothwell, M., . . . Ntoumanis, N. (2020). The effects of the iPlayClean education programme on doping attitudes and susceptibility to use banned substances among high-level adolescent athletes from the UK: A cluster-randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Drug Policy, 82, 102820. PubMed ID: 32563179 doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102820

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ntoumanis, N., Barkoukis, V., Gucciardi, D.F., & Chan, D.K.C. (2017). Linking coach interpersonal style with athlete doping intentions and doping use: A prospective study. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39(3), 188198. PubMed ID: 28891379 doi:10.1123/jsep.2016-0243

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ntoumanis, N., Ng, J.Y., Barkoukis, V., & Backhouse, S. (2014). Personal and psychosocial predictors of doping use in physical activity settings: A meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 44(11), 16031624. PubMed ID: 25138312 doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0240-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ommundsen, Y., Roberts, G., Lemyre, P., & Treasure, D. (2003). Perceived motivational climate in male youth soccer: Relations to social–moral functioning, sportspersonship and team norm perceptions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 4(4), 397413. doi:10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00038-9

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Quaglio, G., Fornasiero, A., Mezzelani, P., Moreschini, S., Lugoboni, F., & Lechi, A. (2009). Anabolic steroids: Dependence and complications of chronic use. Internal and Emergency Medicine, 4(4), 289296. PubMed ID: 19468827 doi:10.1007/s11739-009-0260-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ranby, K.W., Aiken, L.S., MacKinnon, D.P., Elliot, D.L., Moe, E.L., McGinnis, W., & Goldberg, L. (2009). A mediation analysis of the ATHENA intervention for female athletes: Prevention of athletic-enhancing substance use and unhealthy weight loss behaviors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34(10), 10691083. PubMed ID: 19386771 doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsp025

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ring, C. , & Hurst, P. (2019). The effects of moral disengagement mechanisms on doping likelihood are mediated by guilt and moderated by moral traits. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 40, 3341. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.09.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rubin, D.B. (1976). Inference and missing data. Biometrika, 63(3), 581592. doi:10.1093/biomet/63.3.581

  • Sagoe, D., Holden, G., Rise, E.N.K., Torgersen, T., Paulsen, G., Krosshaug, T., . . . Pallesen, S. (2016). Doping prevention through anti-doping education and practical strength training: The Hercules program. Performance Enhancement & Health, 5(1), 2430. doi:10.1016/j.peh.2016.01.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schulz, K.F., Altman, D.G., Moher, D., & CONSORT Group. (2010). CONSORT 2010 statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. Trials, 11(1), 32. doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-32

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Singler, A. (2015). Why education of athletes is not enough. In V. Moller, I. Waddington, & J. Hoberman (Eds.), Routledge handbook of drugs and sport, pp.  239–248. London and New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spruit, A., Kavussanu, M., Smit, T., & IJntema, M. (2019). The relationship between moral climate of sports and the moral behavior of young athletes: A multilevel meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(2), 228242. PubMed ID: 30560510 doi:10.1007/s10964-018-0968-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stanger, N., & Backhouse, S.H. (2020). A multistudy cross-sectional and experimental examination into the interactive effects of moral identity and moral disengagement on doping. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 42(3), 185200. doi:10.1123/jsep.2019-0097

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephens, D.E., & Bredemeier, B.J.L. (1996). Moral atmosphere and judgments about aggression in girls’ soccer: Relationships among moral and motivational variables. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 18(2), 158173. doi:10.1123/jsep.18.2.158

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tangney, J.P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D.J. (2007). Moral emotions and moral behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 345372. PubMed ID: 16953797 doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070145

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ulrich, R., Pope, H.G., Cléret, L., Petróczi, A., Nepusz, T., Schaffer, J., . . . Simon, P. (2018). Doping in two elite athletics competitions assessed by randomized-response surveys. Sports Medicine, 48(1), 211219. PubMed ID: 28849386 doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0765-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Anti-Doping Agency. (2019). Annual Report 2018. Montreal, Canada: World Anti-Doping Agency.

  • World Anti-Doping Code. (2015). World Anti-Doping Code 2015. Montreal, Canada: World Anti-Doping Agency.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1365 864 38
Full Text Views 104 67 5
PDF Downloads 110 84 1