In order to identify factors associated with on-field moral functioning among student athletes within the unique context of football, we examined masculine gender role conflict, moral atmosphere, and athletic identity. Using structural equation modeling to assess survey data from 204 high school football players, results demonstrated that moral atmosphere (i.e., the influence of coaches and teammates) was significantly associated with participants’ process of on-field moral functioning across the levels of judgment, intention, and behavior. Neither masculine gender role conflict nor athletic identity significantly predicted moral functioning, but the results indicated that participants’ identification with the athlete role significantly predicted conflict with socialized gender roles. Results suggest that in the aggressive and violent sport of football, coaches can have a direct influence on players’ moral functioning process. Coaches can also have an indirect effect by influencing all the players so that a culture of ethical play can be cultivated among teammates and spread from the top down.
Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Leslie A. Rutkowski, Ellen L. Vaughan, and Matthew C. Steinfeldt
Jesse Steinfeldt, Leslie A. Rutkowski, Thomas J. Orr, and Matthew C. Steinfeldt
This study examined on-field antisocial sports behaviors among 274 American football players in the United States. Results indicated that moral atmosphere (i.e., teammate, coach influence) and conformity to masculine norms were significantly related to participants’ moral behavior on the field (i.e., intimidate, risk injury, cheat, intentionally injure opponents). In other words, the perception that coaches and teammates condone on-field antisocial behaviors—in addition to conforming to societal expectations of traditional masculinity—is related to higher levels of antisocial behaviors on the football field. In addition, conformity to traditional masculine norms mediated the relationship between moral atmosphere and on-field aggressive sports behaviors, suggesting a relationship between social norms and moral atmosphere. Results of this interdisciplinary endeavor are interpreted and situated within the extant literature of both the fields of sport psychology and the psychological study of men and masculinity. Sport psychologists can use results to design interventions that incorporate moral atmosphere and conformity to masculine norms in an effort to decrease aggressive sports behaviors in the violent sport of football.
Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Kimberly J. Bodey, Scott B. Martin, and Sam J. Zizzi
Although there appears to be greater acceptance and use of sport psychology (SP), fully integrating SP consultants and services into college athletic programs has yet to occur in most institutions. Decisions to initiate, continue, or terminate SP services are often made by coaches. Therefore, college coaches with access to services were interviewed to explore their beliefs and expectations about SP service use and how an SP consultant could work effectively with them and their athletes. Using consensual qualitative research methods, three domains in coaches’ perceptions of SP consultants were revealed: who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Findings illustrate the importance of being “on the same page” with coaches, developing self-reliant athletes, and making an impact while remaining in a supporting role.
Nicole T. Gabana, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Y. Joel Wong, and Y. Barry Chung
The present study explored the relationships among gratitude, sport satisfaction, athlete burnout, and perceived social support among college student-athletes in the United States. Participants (N = 293) from 16 different types of sports at 8 NCAA Division I and III institutions were surveyed. Results indicated gratitude was negatively correlated with burnout and positively correlated with sport satisfaction, suggesting that athletes who reported more general gratitude also experienced lower levels of burnout and greater levels of satisfaction with their college sport experience. Perceived social support was found to be a mediator in both relationships. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Jessica L. David, Matthew D. Powless, Jacqueline E. Hyman, DeJon M. Purnell, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, and Shelbi Fisher
Twitter, the popular social-media platform, is a staple in intercollegiate athletics. Although it is often regarded merely as a pastime, Twitter boasts advantages and disadvantages to college student athletes and their programs. This is primarily due to the nature of interactions and exchanges that take place between student athletes and the general public, be they fans, critics, or somewhere in between. Using a semistructured protocol, the researchers conducted a 75-min focus-group interview with 7 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I student athletes to examine the psychological impacts of Twitter use. A modified version of consensual qualitative research was used for data analysis. Results indicated that student athletes were heavily influenced and affected by Twitter use across various domains in their lives. Participants reflected on both advantages (e.g., avenue for advocacy and moral support and promoting team cohesion) and disadvantages (e.g., receipt of critical tweets and detrimental performance implications) of using the microblogging platform, thereby corroborating extant literature and providing a more balanced perspective of Twitter’s resulting impact. The researchers explicated practical implications including improved social-media training and the development of best practices to support student athletes in their responsible use of Twitter. Further research is necessary to better understand the differences in experiences of student athletes competing in revenue-generating sports compared with those competing in non-revenue-generating sports.