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Earle F. Zeigler

This paper presents a rationale and suggested dimensions for a detailed code of ethics for sport psychologists. The discussion is based upon a sequential analysis of the topic proceeding from the general to the specific. A detailed discussion of professions and their necessary features is carried out (Bayles, 1981). Publications from 1979 to 1984 are reviewed chronologically to determine what has been written about the field’s status as a profession, what perceptions are held about the possible need for a code of ethics, and what has been developing along this line. It is argued that the sport psychologist as a professional has certain obligations to his or her clients, to the public, and to the embryonic profession. It is argued further that the development of a detailed, specific code of ethics for sport psychologists would be another important step toward the total professionalization process. Such a code could be viewed as a system of norms, categorized according to areas of concern (e.g., ethical nature of counselor/athlete relationship), describing what should be the case in the individual’s professional practice. Such norms or obligations could be categorized as (a) standards of virtue, (b) principles of responsibility, and (c) rules of duty. Finally, some reasonable conclusions are drawn for the possible use of those concerned.

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Earle F. Zeigler

Explanatory Note: Beginning his term of office, President David Matthews appointed an ad hoc committee to work toward development of a code of professional ethics for the Society. (The Society may eventually wish to make this a standing committee.) Professor Earle Zeigler (Univ. of Western Ontario) was appointed chairperson, and Professors Joy DeSensi (Univ. of Tennessee) and Pat Galasso (Univ. of Windsor) were appointed to this committee as well. This is intended to be a 2-year project, and the present report is considered a draft statement (progress report) to be examined by the Executive Committee in the fall of 1988. This draft report, if tentatively approved, would then be made available to all members through our regular publications in adequate time for foil reaction including recommendations and suggestions for change. The ad hoc Ethics Committee would consider all responses and issue a final report in 1990 for consideration by the Executive Committee and, we hope, subsequent ratification by the membership at its annual business meeting.

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Earle F. Zeigler

Today sport and all other social institutions (e.g., religion, politics, finance) are confronted with the need to demonstrate that they are worthwhile and responsible. Sport managers should understand what sport’s status is and how and why such standing occurred. Difficult decisions, often ethical in nature, will have to be made as members of the sport management societies worldwide strive to continue developing this profession and discipline. These professionals need to decide to what extent they wish to live up to the broad ideals of the programs being promoted by public, semipublic, and private agencies for people of all types and ages. Those involved with professional preparation and scholarly endeavor urgently need a theory and a disciplinary model for administrative or managerial leadership of sport on a gradually improving, sound academic basis. Practitioners need an online service that provides them with scholarly applied findings as they seek to serve in the behaviorally oriented environment of today’s world.

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Harold A. Harris and Earle F. Zeigler