The Role of Community in Athlete Transgressive Behavior

Chris Imbrogno – New York University
Brianna L. Newland – New York University
Stacy Warner – East Carolina University

The relationships among athletes can result in an environment that supports transgressive behavior. Sport has often been praised for the positive consequences of the community it fosters, but few researchers have discussed how community can foster antisocial behavior. This study explored the impact college athletes’ sense of community has on transgressive behavior. Three hundred and eighty-nine intercollegiate NCAA Division I and recreational (i.e., club and intramural) athletes were asked about their transgressive behaviors and perceptions of sense of community. The results demonstrated that males scored higher for all transgressive behaviors as well as reported a stronger sense of community. There was a significant relationship between sense of community and general deviance, violence towards partners, and doping attitudes. Recreational athletes showed higher sense of community and intercollegiate athletes demonstrated higher scores for moral disengagement, violence towards partners, and doping attitudes than recreational athletes.