Moral dilemmas in university populations

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Brantner, Keegan M.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education
How sport impacts university student-athletes’ development and behaviours has received considerable attention in the past two decades. Researchers have studied student-athlete’s development of life skills (Chartier et al., 2021; Rathwell & Young, 2018a), effects of sport participation on their identity (Chen et al., 2010;), leadership development (Wright & Côté, 2003), and moral behaviour (Hodge & Lonsdale, 2011; Kavussanu et al., 2002). Fewer studies have examined why and how university sport impacts student-athlete outcomes. We explored if being an identifiable member within the university community lead student-athletes to behave in ways that align with school and team values. Our study purpose was to test (a) if university student-athletes had more moral intentions than non-student athletes, and (b) whether being reminded of their affiliation to their university enhances student-athletes’ moral intentions differently than general student populations. A 3X2 quasi-experimental design was used to test 27 student-athletes’, 24 intramural athletes’, and 31 regular university students’ moral intentions under two conditions. In the experimental condition, participants responded to moral dilemmas while wearing team or university-affiliated apparel. In the control, participants wore non-affiliated apparel. In both conditions, participants completed the Social Identity Questionnaire in Sport, Adapted Social Identity Questionnaire in Sport, and a Social Desirability Scale. No significant difference between group F(2,79) = 1.75, p = .18, ηp2 = .04 and condition F(1,79) = 1.48, p = .23, ηp2 = .02 , or a significant interaction effect was found F(2,79) = 0.53, p = .59, ηp2 = .01. Student-athletes are no different in moral intentions than other university student populations. Moreover, wearing university-affiliated apparel does not change the moral intentions of any student group. Our results suggest that emphasizing student-athletes’ roles as representatives of the university may be an insufficient behaviour change intervention.
university sport , moral dilemmas , Hawthorne effect , social identity , College sports , College athletes--Conduct of life , College students--Conduct of life , Ethical problems , Group identity , Ethics , Values , Dissertations , Academic