The relationship between the world anti-doping agency’s spirit of sport values and anti-doping beliefs among elite athletes : direct-based measures using the theory of planned behavior

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pauline Grist (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jeffery Milroy

Abstract: The prevalent use of steroids is alarming given the increased use and abuse over the years, and the ready availability of steroids and steroid-related products. Planning, designing, and implementing anti-doping efforts in elite sports have evolved over the years. Doping research has expanded beyond medical and physiological investigation focused on improving detection methods to social science research which aims to better understand the psychosocial factors that can impact doping behavior. The overall purpose of the present study is to investigate the spirit of sport values of elite athletes, and psychosocial factors that predict anti-doping beliefs. This study addresses two aims: (1) Utilize exploratory factor analysis with 13 previously validated scales measuring spirit of sport values to assess their reliability and appropriateness in future modeling with an elite athlete sample; and (2) to examine the relationship between the Spirit of Sport values and constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) among elite athletes in predicting anti-doping beliefs. Data for this study were collected from an online survey distributed to 221 USA Swimming athletes. Existing instruments were used to measure the following 13 spirit of sport values: (1) Ethics, (2) Honesty, (3) Excellence in performance, (4)Fun/joy, (5) Teamwork, (6) Dedication; (7) Respect for Rules/Laws, (8) Respect for Self, (9)Respect for Other Participants, (10) Community, (11) Courage, (12) Character, and (13) Health and assess their reliability among elite athletes. Additionally, (1) Attitudes, (2) Subjective Norms, and (3) Perceived Behavioral Control were measured to assess the association between the spirit of sport values and psychosocial factors of anti-doping beliefs. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted and found 11 of the 13 scales demonstrated good reliability (a >.70), 4 full scales were reduced to single factors based on (1) factor loadings and cross-loading of items and (2) the appropriateness of the factor to measure a construct of interest related to the broad spirit of sport value and its relationship of that value to antidoping. In our second study we utilized the adjusted scales from study 1 to determine if any of the spirit of sport values are predictive of constructs from TPB. Results from Study 2 found anti-doping attitudes were predicted by respect for rules and fun. Perceived behavioral control over anti-doping was predicted by task orientation and moral identity, and anti-doping subjective norms was predicted by fun.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Doping, Values
Doping in sports
Athletes $x Drug use
Sports $x Moral and ethical aspects

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