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Karen S. Meaney and Sonya L. Armstrong

that may ultimately decrease individual and organizational productivity and eventually trigger the victim’s exodus from the corporation, agency, or institution ( Namie, 2003 , 2014 ). Aggressive behaviors are overtly or covertly directed to an employee (victim) by another employee (bully). Workplace

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Maria Kavussanu and Christopher M. Spray

This study examined the network of relationships among moral atmosphere, perceived performance motivational climate, and moral functioning of male youth football players. Participants were 325 footballers recruited from 24 teams of a youth football league. They responded to scenarios describing cheating and aggressive behaviors likely to occur during a football game by indicating their moral judgment, intention, and behavior, which represented moral functioning. The moral atmosphere of the team and participants’ perceptions of the team’s performance motivational climate were also measured. Structural equation modeling indicated that perceptions of an atmosphere condoning cheating and aggressive behaviors were associated with views that a performance motivational climate is salient in the team, while both moral atmosphere and perceived performance climate corresponded to low levels of moral functioning in football. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for eliminating unsportsmanlike conduct from sport.

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Larry Lauer and Craig Paiement

The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program was developed to teach youth hockey players ages 12 and older to play within the rules and enhance their ability to respond positively to their negative emotions (i.e., through emotional toughness). Hockey players were taught cognitive and emotional skills within a 3 R’s routine to decrease aggressive acts. Three youth ice hockey players identified as frequently exhibiting aggressive behaviors participated in 10 sessions. A single-subject design was used to analyze participants’ aggressive behaviors as well as emotional toughness. Results reveal slight improvements in all participants, with the largest reductions in retaliatory and major aggressive acts. Several key implications for practice are provided including the use of routines and managing emotional responses.

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Martina Micai, Maria Kavussanu and Christopher Ring

Poor executive function has been linked to increased antisocial and aggressive behavior in clinical and nonclinical populations. The present study investigated the relationship between executive and nonexecutive cognitive function and antisocial behavior in sport as well as reactive and proactive aggression. Cognitive function was assessed in young adult male and female athletes using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Antisocial behavior in sport and aggression were assessed via self-report instruments and were found to be positively correlated. Executive function (but not nonexecutive function) scores were negatively correlated with both self-reported antisocial behavior and aggression in males but not females. Our findings suggest that prefrontal deficits among male athletes could contribute to poor impulse control and difficulty in anticipating the consequences of their antisocial and aggressive behavior.

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Dawn E. Stephens and Brenda Jo Light Bredemeier

Recent sport psychology research addressing athletic aggression has tended to focus either on the moral or the motivational dimensions of aggressive behavior. The current study utilized both moral and motivational constructs to investigate aggression in young soccer participants (N = 212) from two different age-group leagues: under 12 and under 14. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that players who described themselves as more likely to aggress against an opponent also were more likely to (a) identify a larger number of teammates who would aggress in a similar situation, (b) perceive their coach as placing greater importance on ego-oriented goals, and (c) choose situations featuring preconventional rather than conventional moral motives as more tempting for aggressive action. These results suggest that young athletes’ aggressive behavior is related to their team’s “moral atmosphere,” including team aggressive norms, players’ perceptions of these team norms and coach characteristics, and players’ moral motives for behavior.

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Philip E. Varca

This study examined the performance of men's basketball teams playing on their home court and away from home. In order to counterbalance playing sites and team ability, the performance of 10 league schools using a round-robin schedule was studied. Home teams won significantly more often than their visiting opponents. As predicted, home teams significantly outperformed their opponents in terms of functionally aggressive behavior, such as rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. Also, as predicted, visiting teams displayed significantly more dysfunctional aggression, such as fouls. There were no significant differences between home and away teams with respect to fine motor movements, such as field goal and free throw percentages. It appears that the salient behavioral dimension differentiating home and away play is aggressive behavior. Several theoretical models were explored for explaining the present findings and promoting future research.

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John G.H. Dunn and Janice Causgrove Dunn

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between goal orientations, perceptions of athletic aggression, and sportspersonship among elite male youth ice hockey players (M age = 13.08 years). Athletes (N = 171) completed questionnaires to assess their goal orientations, attitudes toward directing aggressive behaviors during competition, and non-aggression-related sportspersonship. In accordance with Vallerand, Deshaies, Cuerrier, Brière, and Pelletier (1996), sportspersonship was conceptualized as a five-dimensional construct. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high ego-oriented athletes were more inclined to approve of aggressive behaviors than those with low ego orientation. Players with higher levels of task orientation (rather than low task orientation) had higher sportspersonship levels on three dimensions. An analysis of goal orientation patterns revealed that regardless of ego orientation, low (compared to high) task orientation was more motivationally detrimental to several sportspersonship dimensions. The practical implications of these results are discussed in the context of Nicholls’s (1989) achievement goal theory.

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Martin Sharp and David Collins

A growing body of literature associates anabolic-androgenic steroids (AS) with psychological and behavioral disturbance. Studies report marked increases in aggression, and authors have suggested a causal relationship with the pharmacological properties of AS. There are, however, contradictions, methodological shortcomings, and variability within the literature that indicate a need to reevaluate the interpretation of these findings. After considering limitations in the pharmacological-oriented approach when compared to wider theory, a previously unconsidered social-psychological literature base regarding this problem is examined. The paper explores the role of social mediation in the relationship between AS use and aggression, demonstrating how psychosocial factors may bring about the aggressive behavior. Although these alternatives aim to place the nature of effects firmly back in the field of psychological explanation, it is proposed that the true nature of the effects will only become evident by adopting a complex biopsychosocial approach to the study of this problem.

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David Collins, Bruce Hale and Joe Loomis

Studies of sport participation that include emotional responses, particularly anger, are frequently flawed because measures consist of associative paper–pencil inventories and archival data. In the present study, startle response (an aversive reflex) was enhanced during an unpleasant emotional state and diminished in a pleasant emotional context. Nonsignificant differences on this dispositional measure between 36 athletes and nonathletes did not replicate findings differing normals and psychopaths (Patrick, Bradley, & Lang, 1993) on emotional responsivity. Similarity was also apparent in experiential aspects of anger responsivity as revealed by the check for differences in attributional style. No significant intergroup differences were found in participants’ responses to realistic situations (termed vignettes), in evaluation of the anger/provocation inherent in the situation, in the reasons attributed to the “frustrater,” or in self-reported intended response. Implications for future sport research on emotional responsivity, anger and aggressive behavior are discussed.

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Amanda Visek and Jack Watson

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.