Unveiling anger and aggression in sports: The effects of type of sport, competitive category and success level

Rui Sofia, José Fernando A. Cruz


Few studies have explored anger, aggression and antisocial behaviour in sport competition. Therefore, this study intends to analyse the patterns of association between aggression-related variables, and the effect of type of sport, competitive categories and success levels. Two hundred and thirty one athletes from different types of sport completed measures of anger, aggression, anti-social behaviour, anger rumination and provocation. Results provided support for the link between anger, aggression and anti-social behaviour, as well as the importance of provocation and anger rumination in aggressive behaviours. Additionally, athletes from sports with higher levels of physical contact and from lower or younger competitive categories tended to be more aggressive than those from sports with lower levels of contact and from higher competitive levels. However, results failed to demonstrate any significant differences considering the achievement level. These findings provide an important basis to understand individual differences in aggressive-related variables.


Anger; Aggression; Antisocial behaviour; Sport competition

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