University Of Tasmania
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Aggression and the adolescent sportsman

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posted on 2023-05-27, 13:25 authored by Wilson, GC
Sporting competition today tends to be ritualised within a variety of institutions and by many people who place a high value on achievement. Adolescents who are involved in competitive sport, are often placed in situations which make incredible demands upon their physical, emotional and cognitive capacities. The stress and anxiety which can come from the uncertainty about the outcome of any competitive game may lead to some adolescents displaying aggressive tendencies not usual to their general behavioural makeup. The purpose of this study was to find the reasons for the instigation of aggressive behaviour displayed by young sportsmen, and to provide suggestions for controlling and modifying this behaviour. The study included: 1. an examination of the nature of competition and its possible role in adolescent behaviour; 2. an analysis of the literature on aspects of aggression in order to define its nature and potential precursors; 3. the development of suitable survey instrument to gain information from a selected population of adolescent sports people; 4. an analysis of the data, to identify factors within adolescent sport that commonly result in aggressive behaviour, and; 5. provide suggestions for controlling or modifying that anti-social behaviour. The sample population for the study was drawn from three high schools in the Devonport area. The data was obtained by means of a questionnaire administered to 159 randomly chosen adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 who participated in the sports of football and basketball, and a verbal interview carried out between the writer and those adolescents who were seen to exhibit aggressive tendencies on the sporting field. Analysis of the data revealed that the major precursors of aggressive behaviour were: 1. frustration over umpiring decisions. 2. frustration as a result of own errors in play whilst in an aroused state. 3. a perceived threat of aggression from an opponent. 4. an act of aggression from an opponent precedes retaliation. Parents, teachers and coaches must be made aware of the situations that can arouse aggressive tendencies situations. They can then help to in adolescents educate the young in sporting athlete to modify his aggression. This can be achieved by the initiation of coaching courses for all those people involved in the control of sporting teams; the improvement and upgrading of umpiring standards through regular clinics for both umpires and players; and the modifying of the young athletes thoughts on aggression by educating them at an early age of their sporting career on ways to handle potentially frustrating situations in a positive way.


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Thesis (MEdStud)--University of Tasmania, 1989.

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