Antisocial behavior in soccer: A qualitative study of moral disengagement

International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 06/2011; 9:143-155. DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2011.567105

ABSTRACT This study was designed to examine (a) the moral disengagement mechanisms athletes use when they engage in antisocial behaviors in soccer and (b) whether the frequency of these mechanisms differs depending on the type of behaviors. Participants were 30 soccer players competing at a regional level. During a semi-structured interview, these participants were presented with video clips of their antisocial acts that occurred during regular games and were asked to explain why they engaged in these behaviors. Their explanations were coded based on the moral disengagement mechanisms described by Bandura (19993.
Bandura , A. 1999 . Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities . Personality and Social Psychology Review , 3 : 193 – 209 . [CrossRef], [PubMed]View all references). Content analyses revealed that (a) the more frequent mechanisms used by the players were displacing responsibility to others (e.g., referees) and moral justification, and that (b) cheating acts and instrumental aggression elicited more displacement of responsibility than hostile behaviors.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Historically, theories of morality have focused predominantly on moral cognition at the expense of moral action. One theory that considers moral action as well as moral cognition is Bandura's (1991) Social Cognitive Theory of Moral Thought and Action. One aspect of this theory that has recently proved particularly popular with researchers investigating sport morality is that of moral disengagement. Moral disengagement is a collective term for eight psychosocial mechanisms that selectively inhibit moral standards from preventing reprehensible conduct by disengaging self-reproof when one engages in conduct that contravenes one's moral standards. In this review, research examining moral disengagement in the sport context is discussed. Research in this area can be grouped into two broad categories: (a) moral disengagement and behaviours that occur during sport participation; and (b) moral disengagement and doping in sport. The present review considers work addressing both categories. Within each category, the main findings of pertinent studies are discussed, and strengths and weaknesses of these studies are identified. The review concludes with directions for future research.
    International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 09/2011; 4(2):93-108. · 3.35 Impact Factor


Available from
Jun 4, 2014

Similar Publications