Predicting Within-Competition Aggressive Behavior among Youth Ice Hockey Players: A Multi-Factorial Psychosocial Investigation (pp. 47-62)
Authors: Chris J. Gee, Larry M. Leith, and Philip J. Sullivan
Abstract: Despite having been studied from a variety of different perspectives (e.g., psychological, sociological, anthropological), many researchers have concluded that a valid, holistic and reliable understanding of aggression in sport has yet to be proposed (Gee 2011; Gee 2010; Gee & Sullivan, 2006; Gee & Leith, 2007; Kirker, Tennenbaum & Mattson, 2000; Stephens, 1998). The criticisms pertaining to the sport aggression literature focus primarily on three factors: (1) its descriptive nature, (2) its micro-analytical nature (i.e., the examination of a single independent variable), and (3) the omission of a valid behavioral criterion. The purpose of the current investigation was to address these limitations directly by testing the predictive capacity of multiple psychosocial constructs on within-competition aggressive behavior over a competitive season. Participants were 295 youth hockey players and their parents. These athletes competed across multiple competitive levels (AAA, AA, A, AE, and local league) within their respective age brackets. Results indicate that trait aggressiveness was the single strongest predictor of aggressive behavior over a competitive season. However, this relationship was moderated significantly by the level at which the athlete competed.