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Interpersonal violence

Definition : Interpersonal violence “can be perpetrated by a person in a position of authority and responsibility (such as a coach, parent, or medical staff), by spectators, or by other athletes. (…) It can take many forms, including sexual violence, psychological violence, physical violence, and neglect.” (Parent & Fortier, 2018, translated).

December 2023 – March 2024

Background: Given the documented benefits associated with organized sport and thus the assumption that youth who leave sport are losing out on developmental benefits, dropout has been predominantly framed as a crisis to be solved. Objective: Throughout this paper we aimed to challenge the overarching narrative of youth dropout from organized sport as a negative outcome only by highlighting the complexity of youth sport experiences and participation patterns. Results: First, we highlight the lack of conceptual clarity regarding the term “dropout” and question its relevance for describing youth’s sport experiences. Next, we discuss how declines in organized sport participation may reflect developmentally appropriate transitions in sport and broader physical activity for youth and across the life span. Finally, we suggest that, at times, disengagement may be a positive and protective outcome for youth when the sport environment is harmful. Conclusion: Recommendations for future research and practice are provided to advance the understanding of youth sport experiences and participation patterns.

Purpose: Transgender girls’ right to participate in high school sports has been attacked by legislation banning them from doing so. This study uses open-ended survey responses among transgender high school girls to examine reasons that they choose to participate or not participate in sports. Methods: Data come from 294 transgender girls currently in high school who answered one of two open-ended questions about sports participation as part of a larger survey on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth mental health. An inductive approach with exploratory and descriptive codes was used, resulting in a codebook with 14 codes about high school girls’ choices to participate or not participate in sports. Results: Among respondents’ answers about why they participate in sports, six codes were identified: physical health benefits, mental health benefits, fun, social connections, family expectations, and gender affirmation. Among respondents’ answers about why they do not participate in sports, eight codes were identified: not interested in sports, gendered teams or spaces, not athletic, physical or mental health limitations, social discomfort around peer athletes, worsened gender dysphoria, bullying or harassment, and lack of resources or access. These codes were not mutually exclusive and many responses were tagged with multiple codes. Conclusion: This study highlights the need for inclusive sports environments for transgender athletes. Providing LGBTQ cultural competence training for coaches, administrators, and parents may decrease barriers and increase comfort for transgender athletes, allowing them to benefit from the skills and education that sports provide.

Background: There is minimal research on the sport experiences of racialized young women athletes in Canada. When studying racialized groups, an inclusive and meaningful approach to research is necessary because ethnicity and race are integral to understanding identity, diversity, discrimination, and overall experiences in sport. Objective: The purpose of this qualitative description study was to explore the identities and body-related sport experiences of racialized young women athletes in a variety of sports in Canada. Methods: Eight racialized young women athletes (ages 14–18 years; Mage = 16.63, SD = 1.19) participated in multiple semi-structured one-on-one interviews and reflexive photography. Results:reflexive thematic analysis was conducted, and three overarching themes were generated that describe the athletes’ identities and body-related sport experiences: (a) Who I am vs who they say I am; (b) My unique body in sport; and (c) The importance of representation. From these findings, three critical factors – intersectionality, discrimination, and diversity – are examined that influence the quality of sport experiences for racialized young women athletes in Canada.

Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine risk and protective factors related to bullying in sport. Methods: Adopting the methodological approach outlined by Arksey and O’Malley (International Journal of Social Research Methodology 8(1):19–32, 2005), 37 articles met the inclusion criteria. Results: A consistent definition of bullying could not be identified in the publications examined, and several articles (n = 8) did not explicitly define bullying. The most frequent risk factor identified was an individual’s social background (n = 9). Negative influence of coaches (n = 5), level of competition (n = 5), lack of supportive club culture (n = 5) and issues in locker rooms (n = 4) were among the most commonly cited risk factors for bullying in sport settings. Preventative policies were cited as the most common method to reduce the incidence of bullying (n = 13). Contextually tailored intervention programmes (n = 5) were also noted as a key protective factor, particularly for marginalised groups, including athletes with disabilities or members of the LGBTQ+ community. The need for sport-specific bullying prevention education was highlighted by 10 of the articles reviewed. In summary, the current review accentuates the range of risk and protective factors associated with sport participation. Conclusion: Furthermore, the need for educational training programmes to support coaches in addressing and preventing bullying within sport settings is emphasised.

Background: Recent scholarship studying the impact of race-based prejudice has emphasized its rampant persistence throughout all aspects of modern society, including the world of sports. Prior research from American leagues has shown that even referees, trained officials intended to enact neutral judgements, are subject to bias against Black and dark-skinned players. Objective: To extend these studies and inform policies aimed at combating racial bias in public spaces more broadly, we report results from a unique dataset of over 6500 player-year observations from the Italian Serie A to examine whether these biases persist in European football. Results: Our results show that darker-skinned players receive more foul calls and more cards than lighter-skinned players, controlling for a range of potential confounders and productivity-relevant mediators. By exploiting an absence of fans induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also present preliminary evidence that fans may play a key role in inducing poor calls against darker-skinned players.

Background: Parents are an important social agent that can shape their child’s behaviour in sport. However, the association between a youth athlete’s perception of their parent’s sideline sport behaviour and their own sporting behaviours is currently unclear. Objective: Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship between parent and youth athlete behaviours in sport settings. Methods: Australian youth athletes (n = 67) participating in team-based sports completed an online survey where they reported their parents positive and negative sideline behaviours and their own prosocial and antisocial sport behaviour during the past month. Results: Linear regression results suggested that parent’s positive behaviours were associated with youth prosocial behaviours, whereas parent’s negative behaviours were associated with youth antisocial behaviours. Results provide preliminary quantitative evidence that youth athletes’ perceptions of their parents’ sideline behaviours predict their own on-field behaviours. As antisocial athlete behaviours were positively associated with parent negative behaviours, sport organisations should target, and ideally eliminate, negative parent behaviours. Conversely, to improve prosocial athlete behaviour, encouraging positive parent behaviours should be promoted.

Background: A growing body of research is looking into risk factors for interpersonal violence (IV) in sport. This research suggests the existence of several important risk factors, especially organizational and social factors. One of these factors is the beliefs regarding instrumental effects of violence. Coaches may want to drive performance, deter failure, test resilience and commitment, develop toughness, assure interpersonal control, and promote internal competition. In sum, available evidence suggests the risk of IV increases when coaches believe in the effectiveness of strategies involving IV to enhance athlete performance or perceive external approval for these practices. Objective: The studies presented in this article seeks to develop and validate the Perceived Instrumental Effects of Violence in Sport (PIEVS) Scale in order to measure those beliefs in coaches. Methods: In study 1, item generation, expert consultation, cognitive interviews, pilot test and item reduction phases led to 25 items for the PIEVS around six dimensions. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with 690 coaches in order to determine the PIEVS factorial structure and the convergent and divergent validity of the scale was tested (long and short form). Results: Our results suggested a one-factor solution for the PIEVS (25 items). This one-factor model provided an excellent fit to the data and a very good internal consistency. The PIEVS and empowering motivational climate were negatively correlated, which supported divergent validity as expected. The PIEVS was positively correlated with the disempowering motivational climate and with sport ethic norms, which supported convergent validity as expected. Discussion: These findings provide preliminary evidence for the appropriateness of the PIEVS Scale to measure perceived instrumental effects of violence in coaches.

Background: The Minority Stress Model suggests that sexual minorities may have more significant mental health problems due to the stigma attached to their sexuality. This concern is particularly true among LGBTQ+ athletes who are forced to conceal their true sexual identity and remain in the closet. Outness or the coming out process is seen as one of the ways to effectively deal with these mental health concerns internally since these athletes would now be true to themselves. This process, however, does not come without risks. Outness for these athletes is achieved through coming out or disclosing their sexual minority status. Still, this often entails the risk of experiencing stereotypes, harassment, discrimination, and social rejection, which may lead to mental health issues if not addressed. Despite the known dangers, the coming out process remains ideal, with benefits outweighing the risks and disadvantages. Methods: The current study investigated the relationship between outness and mental health among 204 Filipino LGB athletes using the Nebraska Outness Scale and Mental Health Inventory – 18. Results: Results revealed that outness and mental health have a significant relationship, with outness predicting better mental health among our participants. The disclosure was also found to significantly predict more substantial variation in the increase of psychological well-being, while concealment indicates more significant variability in the decrease of psychological distress. Conclusion: These findings suggest the critical role of community and social support in promoting better mental health among LGB athletes, which will help foster and showcase their talents in their respective sports.


Background: Interpersonal Violence (IV) against children in sports is a prevalent problem and has a major impact on their well-being. However, the causal relationship and the costs for society remain unclear. Objective: The aim of this study is to estimate the causal effect of severe IV in sports on Subjective Well-Being (SWB) and to monetize the collective loss for society. Methods: The study used survey data from 4003 respondents in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). The questionnaire included current SWB as well as 41 items to assess experiences with psychological, physical and sexual IV in sports before the age of 18. Severity was quantified by experts and reported frequency. By using the number of sports that someone participated in during their youth as an instrumental variable to control for confounding, the study estimates the causal effect of severe IV on SWB. The Three-Stage Well-Being Valuation Approach was used to monetize the loss in SWB in terms of income compensation. Results: The results show that experiencing severe IV in sports results in significant lower SWB levels (b = −0.45, p < .01). The lower SWB is comparable to an annual loss of income of 9672 euro per person. Conclusions: We have found evidence for a causal effect of severe IV in childhood on the SWB later in life. The results highlight the long-term, extensive impact of experiencing severe IV in sports that exceeds direct physical and psychological health outcomes.

Background: The association between SHA and negative mental health increases the need to understand risk factors for SHA victimization, which is important for future development of prevention programs. Objective: To examine which combinations of demographic- and mental health factors were associated with subsequent SHA victimization, and the prevalence of elite athletes, recreational athletes, and reference students who experienced sexual revictimization. Methods: Norwegian elite athletes and recreational athletes attending sport high schools, and reference students attending non-sport high schools (mean age: 17.1 years) were eligible for participation. The participants answered an online questionnaire at two measurement points one year apart, T1 and T2 (n = 1139, 51.1 % girls). After testing for measurement invariance, data were analyzed with Classification and Regression Tree analysis (CRT) using demographic- and mental health variables from T1 as independent variables, and SHA at T2 as outcome. Results: The combination of being a girl with high level of symptoms of eating disorders and other psychological symptoms was associated with subsequent reporting of SHA. Among the students with lifetime experience of SHA at T1 (n = 533, 58.3 %), 49.5 % reported revictimization at T2 (60.9 % girls, 32.2 % boys, p ≤ .001). The prevalence of SHA revictimization was lower among elite athletes (44.3 %) compared with recreational athletes (49.1 %) and reference students (59.4 %, p = .019). Conclusion: The combination of female gender and mental health symptoms are risk factors for subsequent SHA victimization. These findings, and the high prevalence of SHA revictimization is important knowledge for developing preventive programs targeting elite athletes, recreational athletes, and reference students.

Background: Inequalities related to racial identity are consistently reported across social institutions, not least education, and sport. These inequalities consistently challenge ‘post-race’ narratives that rationalise racism down to individual prejudices and poor decision-making. This paper presents part of the findings from a wider a twelve-month research project commissioned by British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) to explore race equality. This wider research privileged the voices of non-White students and staff in an exploration of race and equality in British UK university sport. ‘Non-white’ was chosen as a race identifier to focus on Whiteness, the normalised, raceless power that reproduces itself both knowingly and unknowingly, to ensure racial ‘others’ remain subordinate. This paper presents the findings of the student voices. Objective: In this study a research team of academic and student researchers explored the experiences of 38 students across five universities. Methods: Generating case studies from each university, the data was analysed from an Intersectional and Critical Race Theory perspective. Two core themes relating to negotiating Whiteness were developed from the data analysis which reflected experiences of university sport as predominantly White spaces; ‘Play by the Rules’ and ‘Keep You Guessing’. Results: Racial abuse was subtle, camouflaged in comments and actions that happened momentarily and hence were implausible to capture and evidence. For incidents to be addressed, evidence had to meet a ‘beyond doubt’ standard. Students were required to consciously negotiate racial bias and abuse to ensure they did not provide a justification for abuse. Navigating racialisation and stereotypes, plus White denial, was additional emotional labour for students. This mechanism of silencing the victim served to normalise racism for both the abused and perpetrator. Conclusion: The conclusion explores potential ways of disrupting these mechanisms of Whiteness in placing students’ welfare at the heart of university sport.

Youth sport competitions are often emotionally charged events, with children, parents, coaches, and officials reporting emotions ranging from anxiety and stress through to enjoyment because of their involvement. One of the sources for the negative emotions and experiences associated with youth sport is the behaviors displayed by spectators on the sidelines. Typically, in youth sport events, these spectators are the parents of the children involved in the competition. Recognizing the detrimental consequences that arise for children when parents are inappropriately or negatively involved on the sidelines, sport psychology researchers and practitioners have increasingly targeted interventions at improving parents’ involvement in competitions. Although such interventions are valuable and important for improving children’s youth sport experiences, their focus is typically exclusively upon the interactions and relationships between parents and their children. However, negative behaviors from parents on the sidelines can also impact others in the environment, particularly sports officials who report abuse and aggression from the sidelines as one of the primary reasons for leaving their roles. As officiating numbers decline, sporting organizations are considering how to best tackle these attrition rates and one area that may be worthy of consideration is the interaction between parents and officials. To-date, limited consideration has been given to the bi-directional interactions between parents and officials or to steps that could be taken to improve interactions. To this end, the purpose of this commentary is to increase awareness, initiate conversations, stimulate research, and enhance applied practice targeting the interactions between officials and parents in youth sport.

Background: Concern about interpersonal violence (IV) in sport is increasing, yet its implications remain poorly understood, particularly among currently competing college athletes. Objective:  To document the self-reported prevalence of IV in college sports; identify associated risk factors; examine potential consequences associated with athletes’ psychosocial well-being, emotional connection to their sport, and willingness to seek help; and explore the associations between IV reporting and perceived variations in coaching styles. Mehods:  This survey study analyzes results of the 2021 to 2022 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) myPlaybook survey, which was administered from July to December 2021 to 123 colleges and universities across the US. Participants were NCAA athletes aged 18 to 25 years who were current players on an NCAA-sanctioned team. Self-reported demographic characteristics (eg, athlete gender identity and sexual orientation) and perceived differences in supportive vs abusive coaching styles (eg, athlete autonomy, team culture, and extent of abusive supervision). The primary outcome was self-reported experiences of IV in sport during the college sports career of currently competing college athletes. Types of IV considered were physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, and neglect or abandonment. Outcomes potentially affected by IV were assessed with 4 questionnaires. Results: A total of 4119 athletes (mean [SD] age, 19.3 [1.5] years; 2302 males [55.9%]) completed the survey (response rate, 21.2%). One in 10 athletes (404 of 4119 [9.8%]) reported experiencing at least 1 type of IV during their college sports career, of whom two-thirds (267 [6.5%]) experienced IV within the past 6 weeks. On multivariable analysis, female gender identity (odds ratio [OR], 2.14; 95% CI, 1.46-3.13), nonheterosexual sexual orientation (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.01-2.42), increasing age beyond 18 years (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.30), increasing year of NCAA eligibility beyond the first year (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.02-1.39), and participation in select sports (eg, volleyball: OR, 2.77 [95% CI, 1.34-5.72]; ice hockey: OR, 2.86 [95% CI, 1.17-6.95]) were independently associated with IV. When exposed to IV, college athletes reported experiencing consistently worse psychosocial outcomes, including increased burnout (mean difference on a 5-point Likert scale, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63-0.86; P < .001) and an expressed desire to consider quitting their sport (mean difference, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.92; P < .001). They were not, however, less willing to seek help. Differences in coaching style were associated with differences in IV reporting. In risk-adjusted linear regression models, having a more supportive coach was associated with a 7.4 (95% CI, 6.4-8.4) absolute percentage point decrease in athletes’ probability of reporting experiencing IV. In contrast, having a more abusive coach was associated with up to a 15.4 (95% CI, 13.8-17.1) absolute percentage point increase in athletes’ probability of reporting experiencing IV. Conclusions: Results of this survey study suggest that IV is associated with marked changes in the psychosocial health and emotional well-being of college athletes, particularly those who identify as female and with nonheterosexual sexual orientations. Variations in coaching style have the potential to alter these associations. Ongoing efforts are needed to leverage the unique position that coaches hold to help reduce IV and create safe places where all college athletes can thrive.

September 2023 – November 2023

Backgroung: Spectators can engage in high levels of verbal aggression toward youth hockey officials. Often, the perpetrators of this aggression are the parents. Objectives: Our aim was to test the motivational factors involved in explaining why hockey parents sometimes take things too far and engage in verbally aggressive behavior toward officials. We reasoned that verbal aggression toward officials would be a function of two forms of motivational imbalance. First, in line with the dualistic model of passion, we hypothesized that verbal aggression would be positively associated with hockey parents’ obsessive passion, an imbalanced form of passion. Also, based on the compensatory model of passion, we predicted that obsessive passion would be associated with imbalanced psychological need satisfaction involving high need satisfaction from being a hockey parent, but low global need satisfaction. Methods: We administered online surveys to Canadian hockey parents (N = 992) assessing their verbal aggression toward officials, passion for being a hockey parent, and psychological need satisfaction from being a hockey parent and in general. Results: Using structural equation modeling, we found support for a model in which high need satisfaction from being a hockey parent and low need satisfaction in general were associated with obsessive passion. Obsessive passion, in turn, was associated with greater verbal aggression toward referees. Conclusion: These findings help reveal why some hockey parents insult, threaten, and engage in other forms of verbal aggression toward officials. They also highlight the importance of maintaining motivational balance among sport parents.

Sport law knowledge is a vital component of sport management education and professional preparation for those working in the sport and recreation industries. It has been more than 15 years since scholars fully analyzed the content of sport law courses. Given the increase in litigation surrounding the sport industry, there is increased focus and interest in the law as a teaching tool within the sport management curriculum. Sport management curricula must continue to evolve and adapt to respond to the dynamic nature of industry and academia. Therefore, this study updates foundational work on the content of sport law classes in U.S. undergraduate sport management programs. Through an online survey of sport law course instructors in undergraduate sport management programs, we discovered all instructors include Title IX in their courses. Consistent with previous research, the next most covered areas included aspects of negligence law and contract law. Many instructors thought that criminal domestic violence/intimate partner violence was an important topic that they were not covering in their course. We did find differences in course content by instructor educational degree and legal practice history. This work can inform sport management program assessments and sport law course syllabi construction.

Objective Homophobic language is common in male sport and associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes for all sport participants, but particularly for gay or bisexual youth populations. Evidence-based interventions are needed to reduce such language and mitigate harm. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a short social-cognitive educational intervention delivered by professional rugby union players in youth sport. Methods In a two-arm, cluster randomised controlled trial, 13 Australian youth rugby teams from 9 clubs (N=167, ages 16–20, mean 17.9) were randomised into intervention or control groups. Professional rugby players delivered the intervention in-person. Frequency of homophobic language use was measured 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the intervention. Hypothesised factors underpinning homophobic language were also measured, including descriptive (other people use), prescriptive and proscriptive injunctive norms (approval/disapproval by others), and attitudes towards the acceptability of homophobic language. Results At baseline, 49.1% of participants self-reported using homophobic language in the past 2 weeks and 72.7% reported teammates using homophobic language. Significant relationships were found between this behaviour and the hypothesised factors targeted by the intervention. However, generalised estimating equations found the intervention did not significantly reduce homophobic language, or alter the associated norms and attitudes, relative to controls. Conclusion Use of professional rugby athletes to deliver education on homophobic language was not effective. Other approaches to reduce homophobic language (and other forms of discrimination) such as peer-to-peer education, and enforcement of policies prohibiting specific language by coaches, should be explored.

Background: Sporting environments provide opportunities for perpetrators to commit child sexual abuse (CSA). While awareness of CSA in sport and preventative interventions are increasing, CSA in sport still occurs at alarming rates. Objectives: A systematic review was conducted to identify and synthesize the extant literature on the enabling factors for CSA in sport. Methods: The 34 included articles were peer-reviewed and were primary sources; had full-text versions in English; included the individual, situational, environmental, or systemic antecedent factors and characteristics which enable CSA in organized sport (clubs, schools, universities, and representative teams); and focused on abuse in children (0–18 years old), and included retrospective incidents. The enabling factors from across the broader sports system were identified and mapped using a systems thinking-based approach, the Risk Management Framework (RMF) and the associated AcciMap method. Results: The results indicated that enabling factors for CSA in sport were identified at multiple levels of the sporting system hierarchy. The results show that 24.1% (n = 46) of the enabling factors identified in the literature relate to the hierarchical level of the Athlete, teammates, opponents, and fans levels, and 52.9% (n = 101) of the enabling factors relate to the level of Direct supervisors, management, medical, and performance personnel level. However, only 13% (n = 25) of enabling factors to CSA in sport were identified at the combined top four hierarchical levels. Results indicate that the problem of CSA in sport is a systems issue, and future research is required to explore how these factors interact to enable CSA in sport.

Background: Investigating prevalence of child abuse in sport is a relatively new field of research, born from the need for credible data on this phenomenon. Objective: To establish prevalence rates of interpersonal violence against children in sport in six European countries. Participants and setting: The sample (N = 10,302) consists of individuals aged 18–30 who had participated in organized sport prior to age 18 (49.3 % male, 50 % female). Methods: A self-report questionnaire was developed (the Interpersonal Violence Against Children in Sport Questionnaire or IVACS-Q) to measure prevalence of five categories of interpersonal violence (neglect, psychological violence, physical violence, non-contact sexual violence, and contact sexual violence) against children who participate in sport. Validation testing (published separately) showed reasonable levels of convergent and divergent validity. Prevalence rates are calculated by national context, whether inside or outside sport, and by sex (male/female). Results: Prevalence of IVACS inside sport differed by category: psychological violence (65 %, n = 6679), physical violence (44 %, n = 4514), neglect (37 %, n = 3796), non-contact sexual violence (35 %, n = 3565), and contact sexual violence (20 %, n = 2060). Relatively small geographical differences were found. Across all categories, males (79 %, n = 4018) reported significantly more experiences inside sport than females (71 %, n = 3653) (χ2 (1) = 92.507, p < .000). Strong correlations were found between experiencing violence inside and outside sport.

Background: Student-athletes are one subgroup of college students in the USA at risk for dating violence and sexual risk behaviors. Despite this, research on student-athletes’ dating behaviors is limited; existing research pertains primarily to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletes and focuses on male student-athletes as perpetrators of dating and sexual violence. While some existing programs aim to reduce dating violence and promote healthy relationships, these programs are education based, and not tailored to the specific strengths and challenges of student-athletes. We therefore designed Supporting Prevention in Relationships for Teams (SPoRT), a novel, four-session prevention intervention for Division III student-athletes of all genders to reduce dating violence and sexual risk behavior by targeting knowledge and skills identified in pilot research, incorporating psychoeducation with techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, bystander intervention, and normative feedback. This study represents stage 1 of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development, evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of SPoRT. Objective: We describe the development, content, and proposed delivery methods for SPoRT and evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of the program using a mixed-methods approach. Methods: Thirty college student-athletes (12 men, 18 women) completed questionnaires and participated in focus groups to provide feedback on the program’s length, timing, group size and dynamics, content, and suggestions for making the SPoRT prevention intervention more feasible and acceptable. Results: Our recruitment procedures were successful, and participants rated the program as feasible in terms of delivery methods and logistics. Participants liked that SPoRT was developed based on pilot data collected from student-athletes, brief, and skills based and tailored to athletic team needs. SPoRT was perceived as appropriate and relevant to student-athlete needs in terms of dating violence and sexual risk prevention knowledge and skills. Most participants (63%) rated the program as “excellent” and said they would recommend it to others. Conclusions: We found SPoRT to be both feasible and acceptable in terms of content and delivery. Suggested modifications will be incorporated into the SPoRT healthy relationships prevention intervention to be tested in an NIH Stage 1 efficacy trial.

While the topic of athlete welfare has gained significant attention in academic literature, to date there has been a primacy placed on physical settings and their ability to augment or thwart the welfare of athletes. The discourse has, therefore, neglected the advent of social media spaces and their potential to have a significant impact on athlete welfare. Social media platforms are now a vital component in the lives of athletes who are increasingly reliant on maintaining an online presence and following. In this commentary, we consider the scope of social media and its potential impact on the welfare of athletes, particularly female athletes. In doing so, we identify and discuss some of the positive health and well-being outcomes associated with increased online communication and self-representation in social media spaces. We examine the scholarship concerning the threats posed by social media spaces, consider power in virtual environments and its impact on welfare, and finally suggest some future directions for scholarship in this field.

Methods: This study employs descriptive and regression analyses of the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993) to examine the patterns and implications of sexual stigma and prejudice in sports contexts by focusing on U.S. adults’ reports of sports-related mistreatment and involvement. Results: Results indicate that about 1/3 of adults perceive sports as unwelcoming to LGBT athletes and nearly 40% report experiencing sports-related mistreatment; adults who identify as a sexual minority are particularly likely to perceive sports as unwelcoming and to report personal mistreatment. They are also less likely than self-identified heterosexuals to play, spectate, and talk about sports; sports-related mistreatment and childhood sports histories do not explain these patterns. Conclusions: Overall, the findings suggest that more action is needed to offset the presence and influence of sexual stigma and prejudice and to provide more welcoming sports environments for all.

Background: Sport official’s experience of abuse in their role is well documented, but the additional gendered barriers that women officials face are not. Objective: This study used Concept Mapping to explore the most important and frequent barriers that women referees and officials in Australian basketball face. Results were analyzed according to the Socio-Ecological Framework with a feminist lens, which demonstrated the complexity and interconnectedness of barriers between different levels. Results: While participants were not specifically asked about gendered experiences, the results indicated that barriers were overwhelmingly gendered at every level, including discriminatory resourcing, lack of senior women, and concerningly, incidents of sexual harassment. Conclusions: This research sheds new light on the experience of women officials and the organizational and societal barriers that limit their careers and make their workplace unsafe. Finally, it discusses where the locus of responsibility lies in addressing these issues for women sport officials, placing emphasis on the role of organizations.

Objective: The purpose of the research was to explore competitive dancers’ experiences of harm in the dance environment with a focus placed on dancers’ social identities. Limited attention has been given to instances of harm in competitive dance. In addition, the impact of social identities on experiences of harm has yet to be discussed. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 competitive dancers. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis leading to four generated themes, including the higher value of boy dancers, Whiteness as the standard, the impact of socio-economic status, and the sexualization of young girls and women. Results: Competitive dancers reported that their social identities impacted their dance experience and at times influenced their opportunities to be showcased in choreography as well as their instructor-dancer relationship.

Objective: This research was conducted to design an interpretive structural model of factors affecting the prevention and control of violence and aggression in football fans. Methods: The statistical population of this study was entirely composed of sport experts, executive managers, sociologists, and management professors in Iran. Thirteen individuals were accordingly selected as the research sample using non-probability purposeful sampling. Results: The effective factors were identified through library study and reviewing the theoretical foundations and research background. Confirming the content validity of these factors by considering experts’ opinions, 14 factors were finally identified. The interrelationships between the factors were determined using Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM), and network analysis based on Decision Making and Trial Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) was also employed to measure their importance, ranking them accordingly. The factors were categorized into four levels according to ISM. The highest level (first level) includes “match day service quality,” “fair refereeing,” “consolidation of social ties,” and “cognitive reconstruction of fans.” The second level contains “design, protection, and security of stadiums,” “patterning and identification,” and “use of calming techniques.” “Awareness and informing” and “anger control training” belong to the third level, while the lowest level (fourth level) includes “media,” “fan organizations,” “laws, regulations, and security solutions,” “moral education or persuasion,” and “teaching communication skills to fans.” Among them, the last level is fundamental, influencing the other factors. Conclusions: The results obtained in this work can be used as a basis for policymaking to reduce violence and aggression among football fans.

As a member of the athlete medical/sport science support team, do you have a clinical approach to recognising harassment and abuse in your child athletes, and managing allegations? Are you confident that your medical interventions cannot be classified as medical mismanagement? While participation in sport has many physical and psychological health benefits, athletes are not immune to harassment and abuse that occurs during sport participation. Psychological abuse, the gateway to other forms of abuse such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect, is prevalent in all sports and at all levels. Specifically, the science base informs us that child athletes have a significant prevalence of harassment and abuse with potentially long-lasting and devasting psychological sequelae for the affected athlete. Particularly vulnerable groups of child athletes for harassment and abuse include elite athletes, athletes with a disability, and athletes that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Ethical frameworks and codes of conduct for physician practice and behaviours exist that identify the requirement for sport medicine physicians to have the clinical competence to recognise harassment and abuse, to manage allegations, and to support recovery, using a trauma-informed approach. The sport medicine physician also has a role to play in prevention of harassment and abuse in sport through educational initiatives, supporting research, as well as advocacy work to ensure sport organisations have effective safeguarding policies and procedures. Sport medicine physicians should ask themselves, are you doing all that you should to protect and support the child athletes under your care?

Racial disparities in perceptions of sexual assault incidents have largely focused on male-perpetrated violence against women. However, in some contexts such as college sports, sexual victimization of men may disproportionately impact racial minorities. Therefore, it is necessary to examine sexual assault in these contexts. Using a 2 × 2 factorial survey experimental design with vignettes pertaining to a collegiate athlete sexual assault scenario involving two male student-athletes, we examined perceptions of (1) racial differences in offender motivation, (2) racial differences in victim culpability, and (3) racial differences in preferred sanctions. Compared to the White-White scenario, participants in the Black-Black scenario perceived the perpetrator to be less motivated by power and control or mental health/bad upbringing. Black victims of White-perpetrated sexual assault were perceived as more able to offer physical resistance and therefore partially culpable for the incident. Finally, participants were more punitive for the scenarios involving Black offenders, especially when the victim was White. Participants were harsher in their preferences for both university sanctions and criminal justice sanctions, with the Black-White scenario producing a greater likelihood of recommending expulsion and incarceration. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding racial disparities in sexual assault generally, as well as for college student-athlete contexts.

Background: Athlete voice is fundamental to good governance; however, sports organisations have been slow to involve young people in safe sport initiatives. In Lithuania, the location of this study, athlete welfare issues are rarely discussed, and the development of a safe sport environment is new to the policy agenda. Objective: This project aimed to empower a cohort of student-athletes to promote good practice and safe sport in Lithuania. A secondary aim was to understand the content areas that young athletes prioritised in promoting safe sport. Methods: 17 Lithuanian university student-athletes worked in small groups to identify a safe sport issue that was relevant in their country and created awareness-raising poster campaigns to start conversations about it. Results: Focus group interviews were conducted with participants who highlighted the need to challenge ‘taken-for-granted’ ideas about athlete welfare and the importance of involving young athletes in advancing the welfare and safe sport agendas.

Background: Competitive sports shape character and moral development, but views differ on the impact of excessive competitiveness on sports ethics. Methods: We used an integrated and microlevel approach to examine the relationships among the achievement goals, social goals, and sports ethics of 268 young Chinese athletes. Results: Results of a self-evaluation survey showed that task orientation was positively associated with respect for social conventions as well as respect for rules and officials, and was negatively associated with instrumental aggression. Ego orientation was negatively associated with respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, and respect for opponents. Social affiliation was positively associated with respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, and respect for opponents. Social status was negatively associated with respect for rules and officials, and positively associated with instrumental aggression. Finally, social recognition was negatively associated with respect for social conventions and respect for opponents. Conclusions: Our findings provide insight into the mechanistic motivations behind ethical behaviors, offering theoretical guidance for promoting sports ethics among young athletes.

Background: Compared to non-disabled peers, athletes with disabilities are at an increased risk of interpersonal violence in sport. Athletes with intellectual disabilities specifically may face compounded risk due to impaired communication and social challenges. Despite the inherent risk of interpersonal violence in athletes with intellectual disabilities, there is a paucity of literature focused on safeguarding strategies in this population, and no global consensus prevention guidelines exist. Objective: The goal of this review was to synthesize literature on interpersonal violence in athletes with intellectual disabilities and propose an evidence-informed safeguarding framework. Results: Future research and practice should emphasize tailored training on appropriate athlete protection strategies and ways to recognize and respond to suspicions of abuse in this population. Given the benefits of sports participation for persons with intellectual disabilities, implementation of fit-for-purpose safeguarding strategies would help address any elevated risk of interpersonal violence. Formal monitoring and evaluation of these initiatives can help minimize interpersonal violence.

Objective: This study explored the relationships between athletes’ experiences of maltreatment and mental health indicators. Methods: Canadian National Team athletes completed an online, anonymous survey that assessed reported experiences of maltreatment (psychological, physical, sexual harm and neglect), and mental health indicators of well-being, eating disorders and self-harming behaviours. Results: All forms of maltreatment had a significant, positive correlation with eating disorder and self-harming behaviours, and a negative correlation with well-being. The relationships between maltreatment and mental health indicators differed based on identity characteristics of the athletes. Conclusions: Further work is needed on the prevention and intervention of maltreatment in sport to reduce the behaviours associated with negative health outcomes.

Background: A challenge in safeguarding children from interpersonal violence (IV) in sport is the reliance on self-disclosures and a limited understanding of the frequency, barriers to and process of disclosures of IV. Methods: Through a mixed-methods design, combining survey and interviews, we explored the frequencies of childhood disclosures of experiences of IV in Australian community sport as well as who children disclosed to and how the interaction unfolded. Results: Those who experienced peer violence disclosed at the highest frequency (35%), followed by coach (27%) or parent (13%) perpetrated IV. A parent/carer was most often the adult that the child disclosed to. Interviews highlighted how the normalisation of violence influenced all aspects of the disclosure and elements of stress buffering (normalising or rationalising) particularly underpinned the disclosure interaction. Conclusions: Policies and practices should explicitly identify all forms of IV in sport as prohibited conduct; education and intervention initiatives should target parents as first responders to disclosures.

Introduction: Sports psychiatry is a developing field whose focus is the diagnosis, treatment, and management of mental illness in sports team members. Participation in elite sports can compromise mental health as psychiatric symptoms and disorders are often unrecognized until players experience performance failures, injury, or interpersonal concerns. Despite the growing recognition of psychiatric illness in sports, sports psychiatry is yet to be widely practiced in athlete healthcare management. Methods: We conducted a search on relevant publications on sports psychiatry and mental health in elite athletes. Results: Numerous papers detailed mental health statistics in elite athletes as well as outlined the development of sports psychiatry with respect to healthcare management. The papers describe cultural barriers to athlete mental health treatment include stigma, low mental health literacy, adverse mental health treatment experiences, busy schedules, and cultural/religious factors. Modifiable systemic factors include conflicts of interest for team clinicians caused by dual loyalty to sports franchises, and power relations encompassing intra-team hierarchies that prevent both help-seeking behaviors and the disclosure of harassment. Conclusion: The proposed model recommends that sports leagues and tournament organizations hire sports psychiatrists to monitor the standard of care provided within each sports franchise as a quality control initiative to incentivize sports franchises to offer the highest-level of healthcare, combating conflicts of interest and harassment. The conceptual model recommends each sports franchise integrate sports psychiatrists onsite with elite sports team members with the long-term goal of achieving SAMHSA’s full integration model pending available funding and sports culture shifts.

May 2023 – August 2023

Victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) are a heterogeneous population. Several characteristics may influence the outcomes associated with this adverse childhood experience, including personal (e.g. age) and CSA characteristics (e.g. relationship to the perpetrator). This study relied on a person-centered approach to account for this heterogeneity and focused on adolescent boys, an understudied population. Data were drawn from a representative sample of high school students aged 14 to 18 years old in Quebec, Canada. A total of 3.9% (n = 138) of boys reported CSA. Various CSA characteristics (severity, relationship to the perpetrator, and number of events) were used as indicators to derive classes. A four-class solution emerged from the latent class analysis: CSA in a sports context (6%), intrafamilial CSA (8%), extrafamilial CSA (52%) and multiple CSA (34%). The multiple CSA profile included boys who were sexually abused in multiple situations by different perpetrators and who were victims of acts involving penetration. The exploration of correlates associated with class membership revealed that adolescent boys included in the multiple CSA profile were distinguished by higher rates of delinquent behaviors and alcohol and drug use. They were more likely than members of other latent classes to belong to sexual minorities. This exploratory study sheds light on sexually victimized adolescent boys and the deleterious consequences that may affect them, particularly boys who have experienced multiple CSA events. We conclude that prevention efforts should focus on the demystification of sexual trauma among boys and on using trauma-informed care approaches for adolescent externalizing behaviors.

Research shows that athletes across levels and sports have been subjected to maltreatment with non-sexualised forms such as psychological abuse and neglect found to be the most common. With the normalisation of many of these forms of abuse occurring in sports, researchers have called for the ‘safeguarding’ of athletes to focus on prevention through evidence-based education. Yet evidence-based education that teaches about abuse remains limited in the research literature. Further, an examination of educational theory, design considerations and the implications of such applications when applied to learning contexts in sport remains scarce. This paper is the first generated from a project where an online athlete-and coach-led abuse education program was designed, implemented, and evaluated with the purpose of teaching children through to adults (coaches, athletes) about non-sexualised types of abuse, along with the effects of such maltreatment. This paper provides an overview of the educational theory and design considerations, namely Ivor Goodson and Scherto Gill’s narrative pedagogy and the use of culturally responsive and culturally relevant content, with challenges and possibilities of these applications outlined. Recommendations are then made, based on facilitator and participant feedback which may assist sporting organisations and child protection agencies worldwide when designing, developing, revising, or implementing their own education programs to teach about abuse.

December 2022 – April 2023

Despite widespread anecdotal accounts of coaches’ emotional abuse in intercollegiate sports, empirical literature is lacking. To address this gap, the present exploratory study was designed to explore how former intercollegiate student-athletes interpreted experiences of emotionally abusive coaching. Former female NCAA and NJCAA student-athletes (N = 14; Mage = 25.3 years) took part in semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Data were interpreted using a constructivist grounded theory approach. The final product of the research was a three-stage grounded theory explaining how former student-athletes interpret their experiences of emotional abuse over time organized into sections on antecedents to abuse, experiences and actions within the abusive program, and after the abuse. Implications for this work include the idea that individual student-athletes may have different experiences and recollections of coaches’ emotionally abusive behavior and that intercollegiate student-athletes are able to discern between “hard, but fair” coaching practices and emotionally abusive coaching practices.

Research exploring athletes and coaches’ perceptions of parent involvement in youth sport has demonstrated the presence of maladaptive parent involvement in youth sport. This research has provided insights into inappropriate parenting practices displayed in the youth sport environment. However, representative of the broader sport parenting literature, data has been primarily gleaned from sports such as tennis and football. In a bid to diversify participant populations, the present study sought to examine female youth golfers’ views of unsupportive parental behaviors within the competitive youth golf environment. Fourteen online synchronous focus groups were conducted with 61 female youth golfers in the specializing (n = 27) and investment (n = 34) stages of development, recruited from seven countries across three continents (Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Scotland). Reflexive thematic analysis revealed three higher-order categories of unsupportive parental behaviors: Emotional Ill-Treatment; Physical Ill-Treatment; and Pressurizing Behavior. Parenting practices consistent with emotional ill-treatment (e.g., verbal ill-treatment) have been previously discussed within the sport parenting literature, however the presence of physical ill-treatment displayed by parents toward child-athletes has not been commonly reported. The present research provides novel insights into athletes’ perceptions of these maladaptive behaviors, and demonstrates that, similar to other youth sports, unsupportive parental behaviors are evident in the youth golf environment. The findings of the current research further reinforce the need for reporting mechanisms for allegations of abuse within youth sport, continued stakeholder education, the development of safeguarding cultures, and also the need to explore parents’ experiences of exhibiting maladaptive involvement. Lay summary: Female youth golfers’ views of unsupportive parental behaviors in the specializing and investment stages of development were explored. Three higher order categories of unsupportive parental behaviors in competitive youth golf were identified: Emotional Ill-Treatment; Physical Ill-Treatment; and Pressurizing Behavior.

Violence in sport is a major social issue generating great interest in research over the last 10 years. Studies to date highlight various forms and manifestations of violence in the lives of teenagers practicing individual or team sports, in competitive and recreational contexts. Although allegations of sexual violence involving coaches most often reach media attention, psychological and physical violence involving teammates, parents, and coaches are also prevalent. While profiles of offenders in the sport context have contributed to a better understanding of the issue, similar profiles need to be elaborated for young victims to delineate varying degrees of risk, adaptation, and needs. Latent class analyses were conducted to empirically identify different patterns of exposure to violence in sport from a sample of 1057 athletes aged 14–17 years. Teenagers participated in an online survey assessing their experiences of violence using the Violence Toward Athletes Questionnaire. Results highlighted three different profiles of victimization in the sport context: (a) a non-victimized profile constituting only 37% of the sample; (b) a profile representing 52% of the sample that is mainly exposed to psychological violence by teammates, coaches, and parents; and (c) a “poly-victimized” profile, representing 10% of the sample, that is exposed to all forms of violence at the hands of various perpetrators (teammates, coaches, and parents). The identified profiles were compared according to different indicators of sport practice, athletic behaviors, and mental health. This study delineates the influence of single and multiple forms of violence and its compound consequences on mental health and sport-related behaviors, thus portraying various degrees of need for tailored prevention and intervention measures.

There are growing levels of abuse toward match officials in sport as well as general problems of their recruitment and retention. Purpose: This study analyzes the role that physical and nonphysical abuse has on association football referees’ intentions to quit and their personal well-being. Methods: Drawing on pooled survey data of association football referees from the UK and Canada, this paper employs probit, ordinary least squares, and treatment effects regression analyses to explore the casual relationship between the physical and nonphysical abuse faced by referees, their intention to quit and their well-being. Results: Although physical abuse is less common than nonphysical abuse both affect the intention to quit and well-being of officials. Moreover, those that do not contemplate quitting also face reductions in their well-being. Conclusion: The research recommends a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of abuse of officials in sport and identifies that organizations have a duty of care for the well-being of their officials.

Although sexual harassment and abuse in youth sport have received increasing research attention worldwide, less is known about youth coaches’ perceptions of sexually inappropriate behaviors and intimate relationships with athletes. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine youth sport coaches’ perceptions of behaviors that can lead to potential sexual harassment and abuse, as well as to understand how coaches perceive coach-athlete sexual relationships. A cross-sectional survey was completed by 200 male coaches from various U.S. youth sport programs. Overall, a majority of coaches indicated behaviors associated with sexist comments and verbal/physical advances as sexually inappropriate. There was, however, a lack of consensus regarding what constitutes sexually inappropriate behaviors when the behavior was instruction-related/contextually dependent. Results were mixed regarding the perceptions of coach-athlete sexual relationships, with a notable number of coaches agreeing that sexual intimacies with young athletes (17 years or younger) are not always harmful and should not be prohibited. Based on a regression analysis, white coaches were more likely to exhibit negative perceptions about coach-athlete sexual relationships compared to ethnically diverse coaches. Overall, these findings warrant the development or reevaluation of policies and interventions aimed at preventing sexual harassment and abuse in the youth sport environment. Continued research is needed to better understand youth sport coaches as the perpetrators of sexual harassment and abuse.

This study explores the influence of individual and relational predictors on bullying perpetration/victimization among semi-professional team sport players in North Cyprus. Three variables reflect on an individual’s level characteristics (e.g., gender, age, and nationality), and another one, representing the relational level factor (e.g., negative coaching behavior). The current paper obtained data from athletes through convenient sampling technique and online survey utilization. A total of 190 sports players with an average age of 24.77 (SD = 4.52) participated. All participants were club athletes from 16 diverse nations, competing in four different sports disciplines: football, volleyball, handball, and basketball. Hierarchical regression analysis was implemented to evaluate the above underlying linkages. It was found that age, nationality, and the coach’s negative personal rapport significantly predicted bullying victimization dynamics among athletes. Bullying perpetration was only predicted by negative personal rapport with the coach but not by any of the individual level predictors. The moderation analysis showed that negative personal rapport with the coach significantly predicted the level of bullying victimization, the age and the nationality of the athlete moderated the relationship between the negative personal rapport and bullying victimization. In other words, the negative personal rapport had a higher effect on bullying victimization for the younger athletes and for international ones. Such findings have the potential to shape the base for further ongoing works, which could underline the critical demand for more emphasis and analysis of nationality, gender, age, and coach’s negative rapport on bullying perpetration or victimization. The significance of the study’s findings, its limits, and potential paths for further interpersonal violence research are addressed.

Background: From qualitative studies with survivors of sexual violence, it is known that two important risk factors for sexual violence are unequal power relations and strong hierarchies; the concept of an empowering climate works against these risk factors and might thus serve as a factor in preventing experiences of sexual violence among athletes. The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between an empowering climate within a sport group and experiences of sexual violence. Methods: In total, 644 athletes took part in an online survey measuring their perceptions of the empowering climate within their training group and their observations and experiences of sexual violence within the same group. MANOVAs were used to examine differences in perception of the empowering climate between those athletes who had observed or experienced sexual violence and those who had not. Results: The results reveal that athletes who had experienced or observed sexual violence rated the empowering climate subfactors within their training group as lower and the disempowering climate subfactors as higher. Conclusions: This study supports findings from prior qualitative studies and hints that a climate high in empowerment and low in disempowerment might be a protective factor against sexual violence in sport groups.

Transgender athletes face discrimination based on negative societal attitudes in many life arenas; they particularly confront prejudice in the arena of sport. This study examined the attitudes of some of the most influential people in an athlete’s life, coaches. The study examined coach gender, conformity to masculinity norms (particularly hegemonic masculinity norms of power over women and heterosexual self-presentation), and level of physical contact in sport as related to negative attitudes toward transgender athletes. In light of the recent spate of antitransgender legislation focusing on transwomen athletes, attitudes toward directionality of transition within transgender athletes were also investigated. Data were obtained from 156 coaches across the United States, who coached a variety of sports at different levels of competition. The findings indicated that stronger adherence to masculine norms was associated with stronger negative attitudes toward transgender athletes. Male coaches were more likely than female coaches to have negative attitudes toward transgender athletes although this relationship was not moderated by adherence to hegemonic masculinity norms of power over women and heterosexual self-presentation. Coaches’ attitudes toward transgender athletes varied based on the direction of the transition, with transgender women athletes facing more prejudice. No difference was found between coaches of collision, contact, and non-contact sports on their attitudes toward transgender athletes. Implications from these results include using targeted interventions toward coaches and athletic administrators to reduce transgender athlete prejudice and promote inclusivity.

Retrieved from

The current article reports on the second large-scale prevalence study on transgressive behavior in sport in the Netherlands, and is a follow up of an earlier, comparable prevalence study in 2015. Using a dedicated and customized online questionnaire, approximately 4000 adults who met the inclusion criteria (18 to 50 years old and have played sports in an organized context during childhood in the Netherlands) were surveyed with respect to their experiences of childhood psychological, physical, and sexual transgressive behavior while playing sports. The survey showed that 71.7% experienced some form of transgressive behavior as a child, in which 48.6% of these events also made an impact (in other words, was significant at the time it took place). The degree of impact the event made is also related to the severity of the event. Severe emotional transgression events occurred in 22% of the youth athletes, severe physical assault events in 12.7%, and severe sexual assault events occurred in 6.9% of the youth athletes. Disabled athletes, and those competing at national and international levels, report more experiences of transgressive behavior in sport. The results are consistent with former research and indicate the need for structural attention to create a safe sports climate.

Research has shown that athletes are divided in their assessment of possibly sexualising behaviours from coaches towards athletes. How they arrive at their conclusions has received less attention—yet it is crucial to understand as a basis for safeguarding measures. Using video-elicitation focus group interviews with sport students, we zoomed in on different types of ‘grey area’ situations involving coaches and athletes. We drew on social script theory to highlight the cultural tools sport students use to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable coaching behaviours. Our analyses showed that the students drew on two types of scripts in their interpretative work: (1) sport scripts, denoting templates for ‘normal’ coach–athlete interactions (typically with a performance and/or caring rationale), and (2) sexual harassment scripts, encompassing beliefs and expectations of how sexual transgressions play out and among whom. We discuss how the students evaluated concrete grey area situations by comparing and contrasting them with both scripts. In these assessments, the students relied on cues and clues from the portrayed interactions, including the gender of the coach and athlete and knowledge about the specific sport setting. Our analyses demonstrate how views about sexual harassment in sport relate to the specificities of the sport setting and the gendered social dynamics in the situation.

Introduction: In recent years, evidence has been accumulating that interpersonal violence (IV) in sports coaching situations has detrimental psychopathological effects. IV victimization not only produces traditional adverse symptoms, but also impairs psychological functioning related to self-evaluation and interpersonal relationships in personality development. We designed this study to explore the psychopathological damage caused by IV experiences in Japanese sports coaching situations from the perspective of PTSD and moral injury (MI). Methods: We conducted a Web-based aggregate survey using convenience sampling. Japanese university undergraduates (N=196, age range 18-23 years) participated in the study. We used hierarchical multiple regression and simple slope analyses to examine quantitative data after controlling for covariates. Results: There was a significant main effect of experiencing psychological violence and MI on several PTSD symptoms, including intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal. In addition, a high frequency of experiencing psychological violence enhanced intrusion and hyperarousal symptoms only when causes MI. Conclusion: These results are consistent with previous studies that identified IV-related mental health harms. The result also indicate that the damage caused by IV in sports contexts is complex and aggravated by the deep intrinsic and moral emotional wounds. The primary findings of this study are crucial for protecting athlete’ human rights, further enhancing sports leadership education, and for proactive consideration of preventive intervention strategies.

The purpose of this study was to explore a biopsychosocial profile for experiencing sexual harassment and abuse in sports. A qualitative approach was used; data were collected from semi-structured in-depth interviews covering seven cases of sexual harassment and abuse in sports in the Netherlands. The interview transcripts were analysed and aligned with the biopsychosocial model. The results reveal biological (i.e., aged under 18, sex, and sexual orientation), psychological (i.e., high degree of naivety, altruism and agreeableness, low self-esteem, perfectionism, emotional or disorders) and social factors (i.e., poor or negative relationship with parents, social pressure to perform, incest at home, social isolation, elite sports and too much power of a single trainer/coach) that can contribute to the risk of experiencing sexual harassment and abuse in sports. These findings provide important directions for prevention and recognition in sports practice and future research.

Background: The popularity of using the advice of a personal trainer is increasing in Poland and currently most gyms offer the possibility of training under the supervision of a professional. Personal trainers present a multifaceted nature into physical activity and become their clients’ guides in achieving sporting goals. Physical trainers also work in sports clubs and supervise the training of people professionally involved in sport. Aim: Given the professional role that they play, this article aimed to analyze the knowledge and attitudes of personal trainers towards using prohibited measures to improve performance in sport, as well as counteraction measures. Methods: The study used a questionnaire created by the authors containing closed, semi-open, and open questions. Results: The results of the presented research indicate that most physical trainers and students educated in this field have a negative attitude towards the use of prohibited measures that increase performance but they noticed that doping was common in sport by 88.51% respondents. In the group of personal trainers, the majority (87.14%) admitted that good results in sport could be achieved without the use of doping. They stated that it was unfair (25%), contrary to the fair play principle—16%, while over 11% indicated this as cheating. Only 6% of people pointed out that it was legally prohibited and 3% that it was harmful. These results show that 10.13% of all respondents believe that the use of doping is a necessity to achieve very good results in sport. Conclusions: The availability of doping substances is statistically correlated with the question of persuading to use doping in both groups of trainers and students and some people justify the use of doping. The research proved that the personal trainers’ level of knowledge on doping is still insufficient.

2022 – January to November

Sports officials (e.g., referees, umpires, judges) can experience distress from a multitude of sources, including episodes of verbal and physical abuse from spectators, coaches, and athletes. Little is known about the impact of this abuse on mental health (MH) outcomes and intentions to quit, however. As such, the primary aims of this study were to survey the prevalence and frequency of abuse in sports officials and to examine relationships between abuse, distress, and subsequent MH and intentions to quit outcomes. Survey data were collected from 438 Gaelic Games match officials. Of these, 94.29% and 23.06% had experienced verbal and physical abuse respectively during their career. Verbal abuse was mostly experienced a couple of times a season (reported by 43.83% of officials) or every couple of games (31.48%), whereas physical abuse was predominantly experienced once or twice in a career (85.15%). Structural equation modelling was used to assess three alternative models that proposed the relationship between experiences of abuse, and MH and intentions to quit outcomes to be either 1) direct, 2) indirect, fully mediated by distress, or 3) both direct and indirect, partially mediated by distress. For verbal abuse, only the direct and indirect effects model achieved acceptable fit and significantly explained variance in mental wellbeing (9.4%), anxiety (15.2%), depression (15.6%), and intentions to quit (19.1%). For physical abuse, though higher distress was associated with poorer MH and greater intentions to quit, none of the models fully explained the relationships between all variables. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, relationships between abuse, subsequent distress, and MH outcomes. We highlight the urgent need to develop evidence-based psychological interventions to tackle abuse, manage conflict, and support the MH needs of sports officials.

This chapter will explore the additional challenges that are met by an elite athlete with a disability when competing in high-performance sport. Supporting a person with a disability in a high-performance training structure can often present issues that National Governing Bodies neglect to consider-for example, the impact of funding on disability allowances, mediating medication, accessing health care in new towns and finding fully accessible housing. The majority of Paralympic sports operate from elite training centres, and for some athletes with disabilities the physical, psychological and emotional difficulties experienced through ‘becoming’ an elite para-athlete can be overwhelming – especially if this becoming takes them away from trusted and relied upon social and medical networks. This chapter provides significant insight into the wellbeing needs of the Paralympic athletes, is framed in consideration with various sociological models of disability and details examples of best practice for how sporting organizations can ensure the structures and systems to support para-athletes are successfully in place from the beginning their elite journey through to the end.

College student-athletes are one subgroup of college students at risk for unhealthy relationship behaviors. Despite this, research on student-athletes dating behaviors is limited, and what research does exist pertains exclusively to Division I athletes, focusing on male student-athletes as perpetrators. While attempts have been made to mitigate instances of dating violence and promote healthy relationships, these interventions are education-based and not tailored to the specific strengths and challenges of studentathletes. In addition, the efficacy of these preexisting interventions has not yet been evaluated. The current study represents stage 1 of the NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development and evaluates the feasibility and acceptability of a recently developed, data-driven intervention entitled Supporting Prevention in Relationships for Teams (SPoRT). We hypothesized that student-athletes will find SPoRT both feasible and acceptable, as this intervention takes a skills-based approach and student-athletes were consulted in the development of SPoRT content and delivery.

DOI non available.

Book description

In many Western nations, community sport coaches occupy a central role in supporting the physical health, mental wellbeing, and wider social development of individuals and communities. However, there is no existing academic textbook that examines the policy contexts in which their work is located or, indeed, the challenges and opportunities that are an inherent feature of their everyday practice.

Bringing together an international team of leading researchers in sport policy, sport development, sport pedagogy, and sport coaching, as well as some of the best emerging talents, this book is the first to critically consider a range of policy and practice issues directly connected to community sport coaching.

Comprehensive, timely, and cutting-edge, no other text brings together in one place such a depth and breadth of scholarly material addressing this important field of endeavour. This book is an essential resource for educators, students, practitioners, and policy makers concerned with community sport coaching globally.

DOI non available.

Emergent research has investigated the impact of abuse on the decision of match officials to leave their sport. The existing literature is largely descriptive and qualitative. Based on large surveys of football referees in France and the Netherlands, this paper investigates the factors that are associated with the verbal and physical abuse of the referees and also the association of this abuse with the intentions of referees to quit officiating. The associations are investigated by estimating the marginal effects from bivariate probit and probit models respectively. Bivariate probit estimation reveals a strong correlation between each form of abuse. Both, unsurprisingly, are also positively associated with years of experience of referees. Probit estimation reveals that both forms of abuse, as well as intimidation from refereeing certain teams, are associated with an increased consideration of referees to quit. As increased intention to quit is also associated with the experience of the referee it is likely that the effect of abuse on referee considerations of quitting increase through time. The main conclusions are that the alternative forms of abuse are not zero-sum and both should be targeted by governing bodies to reduce the decline in the number of football referees. The data show that support of referees, for example through mentoring, can offset stated intentions to quit.

Denunciations of child sexual abuse (CSA) in the sport context have been increasing in the last decades. Studies estimate that between 14 and 29% of athletes have been victim of at least one form of sexual violence in sport before the age of 18. However, studies suggest that many do not disclose their experience of CSA during childhood. This finding is alarming since studies have shown that the healing process usually starts with disclosure. Moreover, little is known about the healing process of CSA experienced in the sport context. The aim of the study is to present a single case study of a CSA in sport to better understand the global experience over time from the perspective of the athlete. A narrative inquiry approach was adopted. Three non-structured interviews were conducted with the participant. Three pathways in the survivor journey have been identified through inductive thematic analysis: (a) pathway to understanding, (b) pathway to disclosure, and (c) pathway to healing. These pathways represent distinct processes but are intertwined as they are dynamic and iterative. Indeed, the survivor explained how she had been, and is still, going back and forth between them. Results are consistent with those found in the literature on CSA in the general population. It suggests that theoretical models of CSA in the general population could be applied to CSA in sport. Practical implications include a need for education and clearer boundaries in the coach-athlete relationship. Sport stakeholders also need to be better equipped to recognize the signs of sexual violence in sport. Our results indicate that qualitative research could be a potential avenue to help victims heal from CSA. It gives them the chance to talk about and make sense of their abuse in a safe space. Finally, our results demonstrate the importance of reviewing the current justice system for victims. It should be based on a trauma-informed approach that places the victim at the center of the judicial process.

In the 2016 International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement on harassment and abuse, it was outlined that psychological abuse in sport research has been heavily focused on the coach-athlete relationship resulting in a lack of research on other members of the athletes’ support system such as their ‘entourage.’ Researchers of abuse have further noted that psychological abuse remains relatively underexplored in comparison to other types of athlete abuses (e.g. sexual abuse). As psychological abuse is one of the most common types of abuse occurring in sporting contexts, it has been flagged as an urgent safeguarding concern. Psychological abuse can be enacted in different ways with many associated behaviours. The present study explored one under-researched issue shown to be entrenched in sport culture-‘body shaming’-and how it constitutes psychological abuse. We also focused on the role of the athlete entourage (i.e. people associated with the athlete) in relation to psychological abuse through the body shaming of athletes. Using thematic analysis, three female athletes’ stories showed how they were subjected to psychological abuse from members of their entourage when their bodies failed to meet socio-cultural expectations (i.e. too fat, not ‘slim to win’). While it was not the central focus of our research, the athletes also explained how they were subjected to physical abuse and physical neglect from entourage members when they were perceived to be overweight or too fat. The athlete entourage members found to be perpetrators of abuse and physical neglect included the coach, the parent, the partner, and the manager. This research provides novel insight into how abuse is circulating through sporting contexts, and in so doing, generates knowledge for prevention and intervention initiatives in sport.

Research question: Match official abuse (MOA) in team sports has become a prominent issue within sport management; the effects of MOA on the safety, wellbeing and retention of officials has led to a growth of academic enquiry. The present review aimed to develop a thorough understanding of MOA through the perspective of sport officials from various sports. Research methods: The authors conducted a systematic literature review on match officials’ experiences of abuse. Research databases (PsychInfo, Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science) were screened for peer-reviewed research published between 1999 and 2022. Sixty studies of mixed research designs were retained and evaluated using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Results and Findings: Qualitative synthesis of the results identified five key themes of empirical findings pertaining to the nature and prevalence of abuse; the effects of abuse on performance, wellbeing and retention; methods of interpersonal conflict management; facilitators of abuse; and match officials’ attitudes towards current support and intervention. Results show that MOA effects individuals at all levels of competition and can adversely affect the performance and wellbeing of officials. Implications: The findings are used to identify relevant sport management issues and the authors discuss potential policy outcomes for reducing the prevalence and adverse effects of MOA.

Objective: To assess the mental health and experience of sport-related harassment and abuse of elite aquatic athletes and to analyze it in relation to gender and discipline. Design: Cross-sectional study using an anonymous survey. Setting: The FINA World Championships 2019. Participants: Registered athletes in the disciplines of swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, artistic swimming, and open water swimming. Interventions: Athletes completed an online or paper-based questionnaire. Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures included screening for depression (10-item version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale revised), eating disorders (Brief Eating Disorders in Athletes Questionnaire), the subjective need for psychotherapeutic support, and the experience of sport-related harassment and/or abuse. Results: A quarter (24.6%) of the 377 responding athletes were classified as depressed and 2.5% as having an eating disorder. More than 40% of the athletes stated that they wanted or needed psychotherapeutic support. Fifty-one athletes (14.9%) had experienced harassment/abuse in sport themselves, and 31 (9%) had witnessed it in another athlete. The experiences of harassment and abuse ranged from unwanted comments about body or appearance (40.2%) to rewards in sport for sexual favors (2.5%) and rape (0.3%). Athletes who had experienced harassment/abuse in sport themselves had higher average scores for depression and eating disorders, and more of them felt they needed psychotherapeutic support. Up to a third would not talk or report to anybody if they saw or experienced harassment/abuse, and less than 20% would talk to an official for help. Conclusion: Targeted initiatives are required to address mental health issues and harassment and abuse in sport in the FINA aquatic disciplines.

The South Korean elite sport system is facing a wide range of problems that account for the high dropout rate among college student-athletes. However, research on dropout rates of student-athletes is so far been limited, which amplifies the actual voices of this group, their dropout experiences, and their challenges, while they were in the career transition process. Therefore, this study used a critical phenomenological approach as a primary methodological lens to gather information on 15 formal Korean male college student-athletes on dropping out of team sports, exploring their life challenges during their career transitions out of the sport. The result showed two main thematic categories with sub-themes, which include (1) factors affecting burning out and terminating athletic careers: (a) injury and failure of rehabilitation and (b) bullying and abandonment; and (2) factors hindering post-retirement career advancement: (a) prejudice and exclusion and (b) absence of mentors and counselors. This study used Social Cognitive Career Theory to explore the participants’ progression through specific interventions that engage and empower. Overall, the current study calls upon researchers, counselors, and administrators to continue exploring advocacy efforts with this population to alter policy and practice.

This article aims to analyse the relationship between the bullying aggressor and bullying victim profile related to practising or not practising sport in adolescents living in southern Spain. The research includes male and female participants aged between 12 and 16 years in different secondary schools in the provinces of Andalusia, Ceuta and Melilla in the period between February 2022 and June 2022. The study aims to extend the existing scientific, theoretical and empirical knowledge on the influence of playing sport or not on disruptive bullying attitudes in adolescents. To this end, two initial hypotheses were designed; the first hypothesises that bullying victim behaviours are associated with future bullying aggressor behaviours when practising sport; and the second states that victim behaviours are associated with future bullying aggressor behaviours when not practising sport. To verify them, SPSS software was used for the preliminary analysis of the scale and sociodemographic profile. Additionally, the study is based on structural equation modelling methodology and variance-based methods employing SmartPLS v3.3 software. The results show the importance of sport or physical activity to reduce the chances of carrying out bullying actions on other peers and/or classmates. Therefore, it is considered necessary to prevent bullying in the classroom by implementing sports intervention programmes in educational centres.

Childhood sport participation is associated with physical, social, and mental health benefits, which are more likely to be realized if the sport environment is safe. However, our understanding of children’s experience of psychological, physical, and sexual violence in community sport in Australia is limited. The aims of this study were to provide preliminary evidence on the extent of experiences of violence during childhood participation in Australian community sport and to identify common perpetrators of and risk factors for violence. The Violence Towards Athletes Questionnaire (VTAQ) was administered online to a convenience sample of Australian adults (>18 years), retrospectively reporting experiences of violence during childhood community sport. Frequencies of experience of violence were calculated and Chi-square tests were conducted to determine differences between genders. In total, there were 886 respondents included in the analysis. Most survey respondents were women (63%) and about a third were men (35%). About 82% of respondents experienced violence in sport as a child. Psychological violence was most prevalent (76%), followed by physical (66%) and sexual (38%) violence. Peers perpetrated the highest rates of psychological violence (69%), and the rates of physical and psychological violence by coaches (both >50%) were also high. Age, sexual orientation, disability, and hours of weekly sport participation as a child were all associated with childhood experience of violence in sport. The rates of interpersonal violence against children in sport were high. This novel data on perpetrators of the violence and the risk factors for experiencing violence provides further context to inform safeguarding strategies in sport. A national prevalence study is recommended to advance our understanding of the childhood experiences of violence in Australian sport.

Some studies report that the sport context increases the risk of exposure to sexual violence for athletes. In contrast, others indicate a protective effect of sport participation against sexual violence, particularly among varsity athletes. Studies of sexual violence towards varsity athletes are limited by their failure to include control groups and various known risk factors such as age, graduate level, gender and sexual identity, disability status, international and Indigenous student status, and childhood sexual abuse. The purpose of the present study is to fill in these gaps to determine whether varsity athletes are at greater risk than non-athletes of sexual violence towards them or whether, on the contrary, involvement in a varsity sport is coherent with the Sport Protection Hypothesis. Data for this article come from the ESSIMU study (Enquête sur la Sexualité, la Sécurité et les Interactions en Milieu Universitaire), a broad survey of students, professors, and other employees at six francophone universities regarding sexual violence on university campuses. A total of 6,485 students with complete data on sexual violence, athlete status, and gender were included in the study. From this total, 267 participants identified themselves as varsity athletes. Data were analyzed using a series of logistic regressions on each form of violence using athlete status as a predictor and characteristics associated with sexual violence victimization or distinguishing between varsity athletes and non-athletes as confounding variables. When considering all confounding variables in the regression analyses on four yearly incidence rates of sexual violence, the results revealed that being a varsity athlete did not significantly increase the risk of exposure to sexual violence at university. All considered other variables were more significant predictors of the past year’s risk of sexual violence victimization than athlete status was.

The aim of the present study was to examine the associations between interpersonal violence (IV) experienced in the context of sport by teenagers and three mental health outcomes: self-esteem, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. A convenience sample of 1055 French-Canadian athletes between the ages of 14 and 17 who were participating in an organized sport was recruited to participate in an online survey. Results showed that psychological violence and neglect as well as sexual violence were independently related to lower self-esteem while physical, psychological/neglect, and sexual violence were all independently related to higher psychological distress and PTSD symptoms. Early intervention programs for athletes that experience IV is critical as it may help prevent the development of subsequent mental health issues.

This chapter defines athlete welfare as well as a range of related terms. Athlete welfare is a broad concept which encompasses a range of issues. It fundamentally concerns promoting the health and wellbeing of an athlete. The researchers manipulated key information within the scenarios to assess the impact on perceptions. A global study was conducted to evaluate the impact of working towards the International Safeguards for Children in Sport. Half of this sample were organisations who worked directly with children. Self-audits demonstrated that these organisations had progressed from having 45% to 64% of the safeguards fully in place. The coach-athlete relationship is a close working relationship and central to an athlete’s performance. Debates related to athlete welfare in sport have often portrayed that a choice has to be made between protecting an athlete’s welfare and achieving peak performance.

Bullying is a global issue that, beyond school, is present in different social contexts, such as sport environments. The main objective of this study was to get to know the experiences of victims of bullying in sport throughout their youth sport training. Semi-structured interviews to four Spanish women and seven Spanish men were carried out, within an age range of 17–27 (Mage = 21 years, SD = 3.69). The following main themes were established by means of a hierarchical content analysis: (a) “bullying characterization,” (b) “dealing with bullying,” and (c) “consequences of bullying.” The results show the presence of physical, verbal and social bullying in the sport context, with the changing room being the space where this type of behavior is most frequently developed. Most victims show an internal attribution (self-blame) for the bullying event, related to their motor skills and their personal physical and psychological characteristics. Double victimization can be observed, at the sport club and at the educational center. Passive strategies are used to deal with the situation, while little support is shown by sport agents (teammates and coaches). The victims, as a consequence of the bullying experience, suffer from short and long-term negative effects on a psychosocial level. The study highlights the necessity to design and implement programs focused on the prevention, detection and intervention of bullying for sport organizations, bearing in mind all the agents that make them up (coaches, management teams, families, and players). Furthermore, the importance of promoting the creation of safe sport environments, free from any kind of violence, is emphasized.

Background: Interpersonal conflicts occur in any kind of social relation, including the field of sports. Proper emotional management can improve athletes’ well-being, coexistence, and performance. This study presents the initial results of the gamified emotional education program Happy Sport in a sample of athletes in the field of non-formal education. Methods: The study sample consists of 194 athletes from the benjamín and alevín categories (3rd- to 6th-grade primary school children). A quasi-experimental pre-intervention and post-intervention design with a control group is followed using the Games and Emotions Scale (GES), Social Support Scale, Emotion Regulation Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (ERQ-CA), and Bullying in Sports Questionnaire. Results: Statistically significant differences were found across participants in the experimental group between the pre- and post-intervention evaluations for the variables satisfaction and bullying. An analysis of the competencies related to emotion regulation revealed significant results for the experimental group for both scales (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression). Conclusions: The results show that after a training session with the gamified software Happy Sport, children’s satisfaction increased and bullying levels decreased. Changes in cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression may also be explained by the training received.

Objectives: Interpersonal violence is an increasingly recognised risk of sport participation and causally linked to negative physical and mental health outcomes. Para athletes from low- and middle-income countries may be at highest risk of physical, psychological, sexual and neglect-related violence due to various factors; however, their perceptions of these abusive behaviours are unknown. This study examined the perceptions and experiences of abuse in para athletes from three lower resourced countries: Ghana, India and Brazil. Methods: Qualitative data from semistructured focus group interviews conducted with 26 individuals were collected to explore characteristics of abuse observed, navigated and experienced by para athletes. The framework method for multidisciplinary qualitative research guided data analysis. Results: Athletes identified a wide range of abusive behaviours they experienced within and outside of sport, including psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and neglect-related violence, which operated on both interpersonal and systemic levels. Most athletes described three less easily recognised forms of abuse in greater detail and more frequently than others: financial abuse, neglect and disability stigma. Conclusion: It is important to hear directly from athletes with diverse experiences and backgrounds and to integrate their insights and priorities into sport safeguarding policies, programmes and interventions. Understanding the requirements and challenges of para athletes and para sport is needed to achieve safe, equitable and inclusive sport. As new insights from diverse sport settings are added to the evidence base, globally balanced, athlete-generated and locally relevant preventative strategies can better protect all athletes.

Within the elite environment, female gymnasts have been exposed to various forms of maltreatment. While the effects of child maltreatment have documented physical and psychological consequences stemming into and throughout adulthood, no researchers in the sporting context have included neglect within their focus of athlete experiences. This study sought to provide an understanding of retired gymnasts’ maltreatment experiences, including both acts of commission (physical and emotional abuse) and omission (neglect), and the subsequent long-term psychological impacts from being part of the elite gymnastics culture. One semistructured interview (M = 96 min, SD = 46.62) was conducted with 12 retired International and National level women’s artistic gymnasts (Mage = 29 years, SD = 4.76). Participants reported being retired from the sport between 7 and 20 years (M = 12; SD = 4 years), with career lengths between 8 and 15 years (M = 11; SD = 2.1 years). Through reflexive thematic analysis three themes were constructed: what we went through; how it’s affecting us now; and will things ever change? Findings highlighted the multiple forms of maltreatment endured by gymnasts, had a prolonged psychological impact, including clinically diagnosed disorders, on their lives up to 20 years postretirement, lending initial support to attachment theory. We hope this understanding demonstrates the need to change the beliefs surrounding the culture and the relational coaching practices. Further, that effective provisions are implemented to both prevent the abuse from happening and support those gymnasts who have been affected both during and after their retirement from the sport.

The issue of sexual violence perpetrated by male athletes has garnered increased scholarly attention over the last three decades. Existing research, however, has focused largely on whether athletes are more prone to sexually violent attitudes or behavior than other groups, devoting minimal attention toward psychosocial factors within sport that actually underlie this issue. Even fewer studies have situated the problem of male athlete-perpetrated sexual violence (MASV) within the psychology of men and masculinities. To address some of these gaps, the current study explored how male athletes’ sexist and sexually violent attitudes toward women are influenced by their masculine norm conformity and exposure to vignettes depicting violent hazing practices. Two hundred and four NCAA Division I male athletes completed a measure of masculine norm conformity. Participants were then randomized into experimental conditions, exposing them to either one of three experimental vignettes depicting a violent or abusive hazing scenario (e.g., forced nudity, forced touch, or forced binge drinking) or a control vignette depicting a prosocial team-building activity. Results revealed no significant differences across conditions in subsequent reports of rape myth acceptance or sexism, and conformity to masculine norms mostly did not moderate relationships between hazing exposure and outcomes. However, for the full sample (i.e., controlling for hazing condition), greater conformity to the masculine norms of violence, power over women, being a sexual playboy, and heterosexual self-presentation all predicted higher levels of rape myth acceptance and sexism. Furthermore, exploratory analyses revealed that hazing conditions did have an impact on participants’ subsequent levels of state affect. Finally, noteworthy differences emerged across types of sport, whereby athletes participating in team and contact sports endorsed greater masculine norm adherence and higher levels of sexism than their counterparts. Limitations, future research directions, and implications for practice are discussed.

Traumatic events and their subsequent effects are highly variable, as individual differences and situational characteristics, as well as other environmental variables, influence how one experiences, processes, and heals or recovers from the experience. Athletes are vulnerable to experiencing traumatic events and major stressors just like the general population, and they have additional risks for trauma related to physical injury. Whether the traumatic event or experience occurred within or external to the sport context, the effects of trauma can affect an athlete’s mental health, athletic performance, and overall well-being. In this chapter, we briefly review definitions of trauma, identify potential sequela for athletes who experience different types of trauma, and examine aspects of sport culture and sport environments that relate to traumatic experiences and their aftermath. Several examples and references to professional athletes are included in the chapter to exemplify how trauma may unfold or impact an individual. We emphasize the importance of being aware of trauma and the potential consequences and trajectories in order to better serve and work with athletes.

In the context of sport, a growing body of research has reported the prevalence of violence against athletes, including sexual, physical, and psychological violence and neglect, experienced by both women and men in sport. Preliminary research has reported that gender-diverse individuals, specifically transgender athletes, may have a greater vulnerability to experiences of violence in sport, but this remains an under-researched population. In addition to limited research specifically on violence experienced by transgender athletes in sport, there is also only emerging research on virtual violence against athletes, with previous research on virtual violence in sporting spaces highlighting how online spaces are sites that can foster widespread hostility and violence. This study builds on previous research by examining discourses of virtual violence faced by transgender powerlifter, Mary Gregory, following her expulsion from the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation. This research used a netnographic approach-an online ethnographic case study design. Data were collected from online news sources, as well as social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. The data provided an insight into the cyberculture of powerlifting, and the negotiation of space, or lack thereof, for Mary Gregory within this physical culture. Five themes of were generated, including invalidation of gender identity, dehumanization, infliction of derogatory and crude language, accusations of cheating, and being compared to cisgender athletes without nuance. The study highlights the presence of significant vitriol across virtual platforms directed at Mary Gregory and the underlying presence of negative gender-based violence again trans* (GBV-T) discourse. This case provides examples of virtual gender-based violence and transphobia in sport, a lack of readiness to accept trans athletes, and concerns for the safety of trans* athletes in sporting spaces.

Despite a series of high-profile media reports of sexual abuse in sport over the past few years, little research has been done to explore the scope of the problem in the United States. The current article reports on prevalence of child sexual assault in elite athletes in the United States. Using a retrospective web survey, adults answered questions on their experiences in sport. Of the 473 elite athletes surveyed, 3.8% (n = 18) reported being sexual assaulted as a minor in the sporting context. Of those reporting assault, most (61%) reported being abused by an adult authority figure (usually a coach) and 44% reported being assaulted by a peer. Abused athletes were significantly more likely to report having been diagnosed with a mental disorder (Fisher’s exact test; p < .001). The findings can be utilized to improve prevention and child protection measures and other safeguarding initiatives in sport.

The issue of sexual abuse and harassment illustrates the difficulty of reporting wrongdoings in sport and the impact of omerta on the wellbeing of athletes. Experience demonstrates that reporting abuse, or any wrongdoing, within its own hierarchy presents a difficult and risky choice. It involves potentially conflicting values (loyalty, ethics and morality) and a cognitive dissonance between the rhetoric of the organization leadership, and the reality faced by individual actors. This chapter presents the actual whistle blowing conditions through the inside view of an experienced sport actor and through examples in one national sporting context (Germany). It will then synthesize the emerging literature and knowledge on the sport specificities which can inhibit reporting behaviour: in particular, the weak power position of athletes, intense organisational loyalties and complex interpersonal and contextual variables. It will then present several steps to ensure that safe, reliable and trustworthy reporting options are provided within the sport system and that whistle blowing is promoted as an individual right for athletes who are witnesses or victims of physical and moral hazards.

Initiatives to safeguard athletes from interpersonal violence (IV) are rapidly growing. In Belgium, knowledge on the magnitude of IV in sport is based on one retrospective prevalence study from 2016 ( n = 2.043 adults), involving those who had participated in organized sport for up to 18 years. Data on victimization rates in current youth sport populations are lacking. This study aimed to investigate the magnitude of IV in a sample of 769 athletes (aged between 13 and 21), using the Violence Towards Athletes Questionnaire (VTAQ). All types of IV were prevalent in this sample, ranging from 27% (sexual violence) to 79% (psychological violence and neglect). Boys reported significantly more physical violence, while girls reported significantly more sexual violence. IV perpetrated by peer athletes was reported to the same degree as IV perpetrated by a coach (70%), while IV perpetrated by a parent in the context of sport was somewhat less common, but still prevalent (48%). These findings, including factors associated with elevated exposure rates, can serve as a baseline measurement to monitor and evaluate current and future safeguarding interventions in Belgian sport.

While the issue of violence against children in sport reached societal concern worldwide, valid measurement tools are lacking. This study aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Dutch Violence Towards Athletes Questionnaire (VTAQ), a self-report instrument, surveying experiences with violence in youth sport. A total of 769 Belgian young athletes were recruited for this study. Exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) showed excellent model fits and yielded the same latent factors in the athlete and parent subscales as in the original study. However, our analysis revealed an additional factor in the coach subscale, . This factor, consisting of both physical and psychological harmful behaviors relating to performance-enhancing purposes, was named ‘instrumental’ violence. The emergence of an extra dimension of sport specific interpersonal violence redirects us towards a more extensive study of instrumental types of violence in relation to sports culture, competition level and training load in young athletes.

The purpose of this article is to foster debate and discussion around the developing sport match official research area. To that end the literature in this field is examined and discussed with gaps in the research identified and explored. Areas of future research are suggested as pertinent areas for scholars to focus upon, with mental health, online abuse, gender studies and investigations into the treatment and support for young people who officiate particularly important. It is the intention of this commentary to encourage academics from sport research fields that have not traditionally considered match officials as an area of interest, and to motivate those from disciplines outside sport related enquiry to consider adapting and applying methods to this unique population, in order to continue the development of scholarly activity and collaboration in this rapidly evolving subject area.

This study assessed the prevalence of maltreatment experienced by Canadian National Team athletes. In total, 995 athletes participated in this study, including current athletes and athletes who had retired in the past 10 years. An anonymous online survey was administered, consisting of questions about experiences of psychological, physical, and sexual harm, and neglect, as well as questions about identity characteristics, when the harm was experienced, and who perpetrated the harm. Neglect and psychological harm were most frequently reported, followed by sexual harm and physical harm. Female athletes reported significantly more experiences of all forms of harm. Retired athletes reported significantly more neglect and physical harm. Athletes reportedly experienced more harmful behaviors during their time on the national team than before joining a national team. Coaches were the most common perpetrators of all harms except for sexual harm, which was most frequently perpetrated by peers. This study highlighted the prevalence with which Canadian National Team athletes reportedly experience harmful behaviors in sport, suggesting the need for preventative and intervention initiatives.

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