Machiavellianism in Children in Dutch Elementary Schools and Sports Clubs: Prevalence and Stability According to Context, Sport Type, and Gender

in The Sport Psychologist

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Paul BaarUtrecht University

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Theo WubbelsUtrecht University

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The majority of research on children’s peer aggression has focused exclusively on the school context. Very few studies have investigated peer aggression in sports clubs. The prevalence and stability of peer aggression, prosocial behavior, and resource control strategies for children participating in three types of sports (martial arts, contact, and noncontact sports) were examined in two contexts: the sports club and the elementary school. We distinguished aggressive children with (i.e., Machiavellians) and without prosocial tendencies (i.e., coercive-aggressive children). Self-reports about experiences in the two contexts where gathered from 1,425 Dutch elementary school students (717 boys and 708 girls, fourth to sixth grade, mean age 11.25 years) who were participating in a sports club. We found roles for resource control strategies to be rather stable across contexts. The findings did not provide support for the “enhancement” assumption in these contexts with regard to martial arts participants.

Baar is with the Dept. of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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