Category: Personality Disorders

PS12- #C86 - Hypermasculinity, Narcissism, and Exposure to Violence in High School Football Players

Saturday, Nov 18
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Violence / Sexual Assault | Risk / Vulnerability Factors | Aggression / Disruptive Behaviors / Conduct Problems

The outside-the-field behavior of athletes has brought attention to possible relationships between sports participation and violent or antisocial behavior. This has been especially true for football players at all levels. Research has suggested that factors such as exposure to violence, hypermasculine attitudes and narcissism may predispose individuals to aggressive or antisocial behavior. Coaches, who serve an important role in teaching and modeling various on- and off-the-field behavior, may play an important role in an athletes' social development. 

Sample: We recruited 138 high school football players (all male) who were participating in an invitation-only skills camp for athletes. The sample had a mean age of 16.53 (SD = 0.91) and had been playing football for 6.03 years (SD = 1.48); 51.5% were African American (27.6% White; 20.9% Biracial or other), and most were sophomores (28.30%) or juniors (39.10%) in high school. 

Measures: Participants completed the Exposure to Violence Scale (MyETV), Hypermasculinity Inventory (HMI), Narcissistic Personality Inventory-16 (NPI-16), the ProSocial and Antisocial Bheaviour in Sport Scale (PABSS), and the Sportsmanship Coaching Behaviors Scale (SCBS). 

Findings: There were significant correlations among most of the measures, including between antisocial behavior in sport and exposure to violence (r = .33), hypermasculinity (r = .50), and narcissism (r = .26). Also, participants’ report of engaging in antisocial behavior in sport was correlated significantly with their perception that their coach engaged in more poor sportspersonship behaviors (r = .31). As might be expected, participants’ self-report of higher levels of prosocial behavior in sport was correlated with their perception that their coach engaged in positive sportspersonship behaviors ( r = .34)..

Results of a standard multiple regression found that exposure to violence, hypermasculinity, and narcissism accounted for approximately 30% of the variance in the student’s antisocial behavior in sport score, with hypermasculinity as the strongest unique contributor followed by exposure to violence. Results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis that controlled for perceived coaching behavior found that hypermasculinity and exposure to violence statistically significantly predicted antisocial behavior in sport. Narcissism did not make a unique contribution to antisocial behavior in sport when controlling for perceived coaching behavior.

Implications: Athlete characteristics such as hypermasculinity, narcissism, and exposure to violence contribute in meaningful ways to the prediction of antisocial behavior in sport. Additionally, perceived coaching behaviors also contribute significantly in the prediction of antisocial behavior and prosocial behavior in sport. Perceived coaching behaviors were found to moderate the effects of narcissistic attitudes but not exposure to violence or hypermasculinity. Developing models for coaches of youth that specifically target the effects of hypermasculinity and exposure to violence is likely to further reduce their contributions to display of antisocial behavior in sport.

Alexander Zeitchick

Xavier University

Kathleen J. Hart

Professor and Chair
Xavier University
Cincinnati, Ohio

Kathleen Burklow

Sprout Insight

Lisa Mills

Sprout Insight

Abigail Elakman

Xavier University