Moral judgment levels of NCAA Division III basketball players

Williamson, Margie
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Sport participation and spectatorship in America continues to increase among all ages. As youth and high school participation increases across the nation, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has also seen an increase in its membership and participation over the last decade. Parents, coaches, and athletes contest adamantly that sport participation is a valuable tool in socializing our youth and building men and women of character. There is a growing concern that participation in college athletics, specifically at the NCAA Division I level, may actually have a negative impact on the moral development of the student-athlete. However, very little data are available on the moral judgment development of NCAA Division III athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the moral judgment levels of NCAA Division Ill student-athletes who participated in men's and women's basketball at public, nonreligious universities and private, religious universities. Differences in moral judgment levels based on gender, university type, levels of education, and population were investigated. Thirty-eight participants completed the online Defining Issues Test-2. Only 21 participants had complete data that could be used for analysis. Although the P score means of the males were slightly lower than the females', this difference was not statistically significant. Likewise, the P score means of those students who attended the religious university were slightly higher than those who attended the nonreligious university, but the differences were not statistically significant. Based on a visual comparison of the P score means by education levels, the P score means decreased between the sample's sophomore year and senior year. However, there were no statistical differences reported. Finally, the sample population P score mean was 29.38 and the nonnative P score mean was 34.31. Even though the results of this study are limited by the low response rate and negligible statistical effect size, this was the first attempt to use the online version of the D1T2 in an uncontrolled environment and with a population of athletes. Fully understanding the culture of athletics and its impact on its members could potentially lead to a positive change to the culture of sport.

Health and environmental sciences, Social sciences, Psychology, Basketball players, Defining Issues Test, Intercollegiate athletics, Moral behavior in sport, Moral development, NCAA Division III