Leadership, Cohesion, and Team Norms Regarding Cheating and Aggression

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The present study drew from the model of moral action proposed by Shields and Bredemeier (1995) according to which a sport team’s collective norms influence behavior. The focus was on team cheating and aggression norms in relation to demographic variables, leadership style, and team cohesion. Participants were baseball and softball players (N=298) at the high school and community college level. It was found that age, year in school, and years playing ball all correlated positively with expectations of peer cheating and aggression, and with the belief that the coach would sanction cheating if necessary to win. MANOVA results indicated higher anticipations of cheating and aggression among males, college athletes, winning team members, and nonstarters. Significant relationships between leadership style variables and collective team norms, and between team cohesion variables and collective team norms, were also obtained.

D.L.L. Shields and D.E. Gardner are with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CA 94563. B.J. Light Bredemeier is with the Dept, of Human Biodynamics at the U. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720. A. Bostrom is with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the U. of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143.