) and antisocial behavior (e.g., verbally abusing a player). Although the majority of previous research has primarily investigated antecedents of these behaviors (e.g., Benson, Bruner, & Eys, 2017 ; Bruner, Boardley, & Côté, 2014 ; Kavussanu, Stanger, & Ring, 2015 ; Sage, Kavussanu, & Duda, 2006
Ali Al-Yaaribi and Maria Kavussanu
Ian David Boardley, Doris Matosic, and Mark William Bruner
Participation in sport can have numerous benefits for physical and psychological health in youth ( Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity, & Payne, 2013 ). However, youth sport is not without its ills, as research has provided evidence of antisocial behavior (AB) occurring in this context (e.g., Kavussanu
Ali Al-Yaaribi, Maria Kavussanu, and Christopher Ring
The high prevalence and significance of prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport have sparked the interest of researchers trying to understand these behaviors (for reviews, see Kavussanu, 2012 ; Kavussanu & Stanger, 2017 ). Prosocial behavior has been defined as voluntary behavior intended to
Maria Kavussanu and Ian D. Boardley
This research aimed to (a) develop a measure of prosocial and antisocial behavior in sport, (b) examine its invariance across sex and sport, and (c) provide evidence for its discriminant and concurrent validity. We conducted two studies. In study 1, team sport athletes (N = 1,213) recruited from 103 teams completed questionnaires assessing demographics and prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport. Factor analyses revealed two factors representing prosocial behavior and two factors representing antisocial behavior. The model had a very good fit to the data and showed configural, metric, and scalar invariance across sex and sport. The final scale consisted of 20 items. In Study 2, team-sport athletes (N = 106) completed the scale and measures of empathy and goal orientation. Analyses provided support for the discriminant and concurrent validity of the scale. In conclusion, the new scale can be used to measure prosocial and antisocial behaviors in team sport.
Adam C. Earnheardt
The extent to which television viewers are fans of sports and their motivation for viewing sports may affect their judgments of athletes’ antisocial behaviors. The uses and gratifications theoretical framework guided exploration of possible predictors of judgments. The sample (N = 347) consisted of sports television viewers. Fandom correlated significantly with motives for viewing televised sports, parasocial interaction, and identification. Fandom was negatively related to judgments of violent crime behaviors and uncharitable/dishonest behaviors. Women who were engaged in other activities while viewing televised sports were more likely to judge violent crime behaviors as most wrong, or negatively. Additional analyses suggested that women who reported lower degrees of fandom, weaker affinity for televised sports, weaker intention to watch sports, weaker self-esteem/achievement and entertaining relaxation motives, and paying less attention to televised sports were the viewers who tended to judge athletes’ violent crime behaviors, uncharitable behaviors, and drug- and steroid-use behaviors as most wrong.
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.
Benjamin D. Jones, Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow, and Ross Roberts
Despite a plethora of research on moral disengagement and antisocial behavior, there is a dearth of literature that explores personality in the context of these undesirable attitudes and behaviors. We provide the first examination of personality, specifically narcissism, as a predictor of moral disengagement and antisocial behavior in sport. Given that narcissism is negatively related to empathy and positively related to feelings of entitlement, it is more likely for narcissists to disengage morally and to behave antisocially. We thus hypothesized that narcissism would predict antisocial behavior via moral disengagement. Across 12 team contact sports (n = 272), bootstrapped mediation analyses confirmed this indirect effect, which remained significant when controlling for motivational climate, social desirability, sex and sport type. Coaches and practitioners would do well to consider the darker side of personality in targeting moral disengagement and its behavioral consequences in team sports.
Ian David Boardley and Maria Kavussanu
In this study, we examined (a) the effects of goal orientations and perceived value of toughness on antisocial behavior toward opponents and teammates in soccer and (b) whether any effects were mediated by moral disengagement. Male soccer players (N = 307) completed questionnaires assessing the aforementioned variables. Structural equation modeling indicated that ego orientation had positive and task orientation had negative direct effects on antisocial behavior toward opponents. Further, ego orientation and perceived value of toughness had indirect positive effects on antisocial behavior toward opponents and teammates which were mediated by moral disengagement. Collectively, these findings aid our understanding of the effects of personal influences on antisocial behavior and of psychosocial mechanisms that could facilitate such antisocial conduct in male soccer players.
Ken Hodge and Chris Lonsdale
The purpose of this study was to examine whether the relationships between contextual factors (i.e., autonomy-supportive vs. controlling coaching style) and person factors (i.e., autonomous vs. controlled motivation) outlined in self-determination theory (SDT) were related to prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport. We also investigated moral disengagement as a mediator of these relationships. Athletes’ (n = 292, M = 19.53 years) responses largely supported our SDT-derived hypotheses. Results indicated that an autonomy-supportive coaching style was associated with prosocial behavior toward teammates; this relationship was mediated by autonomous motivation. Controlled motivation was associated with antisocial behavior toward teammates and antisocial behavior toward opponents, and these two relationships were mediated by moral disengagement. The results provide support for research investigating the effect of autonomy-supportive coaching interventions on athletes’ prosocial and antisocial behavior.
Maria Kavussanu, Ian D. Boardley, Sam S. Sagar, and Christopher Ring
The concept of bracketed morality has received empirical support in several sport studies (e.g., Bredemeier & Shields, 1986a, 1986b). However, these studies have focused on moral reasoning. In this research, we examined bracketed morality with respect to moral behavior in sport and university contexts, in two studies. Male and female participants (Study 1: N = 331; Study 2: N = 372) completed questionnaires assessing prosocial and antisocial behavior toward teammates and opponents in sport and toward other students at university. Study 2 participants also completed measures of moral disengagement and goal orientation in both contexts. In most cases, behavior in sport was highly correlated with behavior at university. In addition, participants reported higher prosocial behavior toward teammates and higher antisocial behavior toward opponents in sport than toward other students at university. The effects of context on antisocial behavior were partially mediated by moral disengagement and ego orientation. Our findings extend the bracketed morality concept to prosocial and antisocial behavior.