Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Reconciling Aggression, Moral Reasoning, and Christian Beliefs in Sport

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Reconciling Aggression, Moral Reasoning, and Christian Beliefs in Sport

Article excerpt

Eileen Mara and Heather Barber, University of New Hampshire

It is not uncommon to see athletes huddled together in a prayer meeting after a competition or to hear an athlete thank God in a postgame interview. Although some athletes attempt to integrate their Christian faith with their sport experience through involvement in groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), questions still exist concerning the relationship between Christian and nonChristian belief systems and moral reasoning and aggressive tendencies in sport. In addition to belief systems, the relationship between the type of sport played and aggression and moral reasoning was examined. 102 male athletes and 68 female athletes, participating on twelve different sport teams at a midsize state university, completed a background questionnaire, an adapted form of the Bredemeier Athletic Aggression Inventory-Short Form (Walls and Gruber, 1987), and the Defining Issues Test-2 (Rest and Navarez, 1998). Of the athletes sampled, 64% reported holding traditional Christian beliefs, identifying a belief in God and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated that no significant differences existed between individuals with traditional Christian belief systems, individuals who believed in God but did not accept Christ as their savior, individuals who believed in a higher power but had no specific convictions as to what or who such power was, and those who did not believe in God or any form of higher power, on levels of reactive or instrumental aggression, Wilks' A = . …

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