The purpose of this investigation was to examine male ice hockey players’ (N = 85) perceived legitimacy of aggression and professionalization of attitudes across developmental age and competitive level. Findings were analyzed within the complementary conceptual frameworks of social learning theory, professionalization of attitudes, and moral reasoning. Ice hockey players completed a modified, sport-specific version of the Sport Behavior Inventory and a modified version of the Context Modified Webb scale. Results of the investigation revealed that as players increased in age and competitive level, perceived legitimacy of aggressive behavior increased, and their attitudes about sport became increasingly professionalized. Based on the conceptual framework in which the results are interpreted, intervention services by sport psychology practitioners are explored that are aimed at the athlete, the organization, and influential others.
Amanda Visek and Jack Watson are with the Sport and Exercise Psychology Program in the School of Physical Education at West Virginia University, PO Box 6116, Morgantown, WV 26506. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and Jack.Watson@mail.wvu.edu.