A Comparative Study on the Levels of Aggression Among Male and Female Athletes

Topics: Aggression, Gender, Anger Pages: 22 (8071 words) Published: June 21, 2011
Chapter One
The Problem and a Review of Related Literature
There were many instances that athletes have shown an undesirable behavior towards others. One example would be Mike Tyson who bit the ear of his opponent inside the ring during a rematch. Because of this, Tyson was disqualified (Weinberg, 1997). Another example would be Ron Artest, he confronted someone who he thought was responsible of throwing a beer at him. This started a fight between some of the Pacers and Piston fans and he even assaulted a fan (“NBA Suspends Artest,” 2004). In the Philippines, Wynne Arboleda, a professional basketball player, assaulted a fan by kicking and punching him. This resulted in his suspension and not to receive his pay for season 2009-2010 (“Philippine Basketball Association Statement,” 2009). In relation to what was stated in the introduction, aggression is seen and common among athletes. According to Barimani (2009) aggression is defined as a physical offensive action against someone else. The manifestations of aggression range from using offensive words which is intended to create psychological harm to severe physical actions against the self or to others. This is a behavior that is intentionally done by an individual to harm someone or to prevent one from being harmed (Baron & Richardson, 1994; Coie & Dodge, 2000; Geen, 1990,1998a,1998b). There are forms of aggression. These are instrumental and hostile aggression. In instrumental aggression, the player attempts to cause physical damage for him/her to win. While in hostile aggression, the player is mad and is mainly bent on harming an opponent physically (Lemieux et al., 2002). Instrumental aggression is said to be an aggressive behavior that is planned for someone to achieve a goal. It doesn’t mean that it is done to hurt another person. An example for this is a soccer player who knocks a teammate down because they are both running to stop the ball from reaching the goalpost of the other team. Hostile aggression is also an aggressive behavior and its intention is to hurt someone. It may be in the form of physical, verbal and other antisocial behaviors. More emphasis is placed on studying the effects of situational factors which causes the aggressive behavior of an individual. These situations include the presence of violent cues, parental conflict and divorce, provocation, and the quality of parent-child relations that affects aggressive behavior of a person (Talley, Valentine & Benjamin, 2006). In another study, it says that aggressive behavior may also be because of the obsessive passion of the athlete (Donahue, Rip & Vallerand, 2009). Some personality variables were found to have an effect on the aggressive behavior under provoking and nonprovoking situation and there are some that have an effect on the aggressive behavior only in provocation conditions (Talley et al., 2006). Some examples of personality variables that are associated with aggressive behavior under provoking and nonprovoking situations are trait irritability and trait aggressivenesss. In trait irritability, irritability as stated by Caprara (1982); Caprara, Renzi, et al (1986); Caprara, Renzi, Alcini, D’Imperio & Travaglia (1983) includes being angrier, in general, and taking offense to the slightest provocation as well as the propensity to be offensive in the use of aggressive behavior. According to Buss and Perry (1992) trait aggressiveness as a propensity to engage in physical and verbal aggression, to hold hostile cognitions, and to express anger. Some examples of personality variables that are associated with aggressive behavior under provoking situations are trait anger and emotional susceptibility. Trait anger is one’s possibility to feel angry more often, more intensely and this will happen for a quite a long time (Deffenbacher et al., 1996). Emotional susceptibility is a stable tendency for someone to feel inadequate, distressed, and susceptible to perceived threats...
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