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Differences between violent and non-violent adolescents in terms of sport background and sport-related psychological variables

  • Karin Moesch
  • Daniel Birrer
  • Roland Seiler
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 319-328
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European Journal of Sport Science
Volym: 10
Nummer: 5
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis


To date, neither theoretical approaches nor empirical findings allow clear predictions about the influence of sport engagement on youth violence. The present study uses a typological approach to investigate groups of adolescents with different characteristics of violent behaviour and cognition regarding their sport background and psychological variables associated with violent behaviour. A sample of 2438 Swiss adolescents aged 12-18 years completed five self-report questionnaires on sport engagement, violent behaviour and cognition, self-concept, wellbeing, and stress perception. After in-depth data cleaning and method checking, the data of 832 participants were clustered using the Ward method. Five reliable clusters based on violent behaviour and cognition can be identified: non-violent adolescents, adolescents at risk, violence supporters, psychological harassers, and violent adolescents. Harassers are most engaged in sports and are over-represented among elite athletes. Violent adolescents are over-represented in game sports with body contact, whereas non-violent adolescents are involved in individual sports with a focus on aesthetic factors. Results further reveal that non-violent adolescents scored highest on general self-concept and relationship to parents, whereas harassers scored highest on general sport abilities. Moreover, harassers and violent adolescents have the least favourable values on different scales of wellbeing and stress perception. Given the cross-sectional nature of the study, no conclusion about selection or socializing processes can be drawn. Further in-depth consideration is needed to advance our understanding of the relationship between sport, psychological dimensions, and violence.


  • Sport and Fitness Sciences
  • stress perception
  • self-concept
  • wellbeing
  • Youth violence
  • sport


  • ISSN: 1536-7290

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