Parents’ Moral Intentions Towards Antisocial Parent Behaviour: An Identity Approach in Youth Sport

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Psychology of Sport & Exercise




Elsevier BV

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Objectives: Grounded in personal and social identity theory, the purpose of this study was to examine whether parents’ personal and social identity perceptions influence their moral intentions towards antisocial parent behaviour in a youth sport setting. Design: Parents of competitive youth ice hockey players (N = 437) read a vignette that either described a parent from the participant’s own team (i.e., ingroup), or a parent from an opposing team (i.e., outgroup) acting antisocially towards an athlete from the participant’s own team, an opposing athlete, or their own child. Parents were asked whether they would respond to the antisocial behaviour in the form of direct or indirect criticism or report the behaviour to the coach or to the league. Results: Parents were more likely to directly criticize ingroup parents than outgroup parents and they were more likely to indirectly criticize outgroup parents than ingroup parents. Further, parents with stronger social identities reported higher intentions to indirectly criticize an outgroup parent. There were no main effects for reporting behaviour (to coach or league), and personal identity did not moderate relationships with moral intentions towards antisocial behaviour. Conclusion: By providing parents with a situation that includes antisocial parent behaviour in the immediate youth sport environment, novel insight was gathered with regard to what contextual elements might drive parents’ intention to criticize, but not report antisocial behaviour.

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