Date of Award

6-20-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Donald U. Robertson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David LaPorte, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Beverly J. Goodwin, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study explores factors (entitlement, personality, head trauma, exposure to violence) that may be correlated with a college football player engaging in criminal behavior. The purpose is to potentially identify which players are “at risk” for difficulty with team and/or societal rules that will prevent them from being successful on the sports field. A sample of 75 participants (40 football players; 35 non-athletes), consisting of males, between 18 and 25 years of age, enrolled in undergraduate courses in college completed the survey. The survey consisting of the Entitlement Attitudes Scale (EAS; Nadkarni, 1994; Nadkarni, Steil, Malone, & Sagrestano, 2005), Mini-Markers (Saucier, 1994), as well as a background survey assessing exposure to violence, head trauma, and participation in criminal behavior was administered to the participants electronically. The Balanced Inventory of Desired Responding (BIDR; Paulhus, 1991) was also administered to assess the candor in which the participants answered the survey. Analyses compared the athletes and non-athletes on each of the factors. Responses to the criminal questionnaire, adapted from Giever (1995), were summed to create a criminality index. Participants were placed into either the high crime group or low crime group based upon whether their responses fell above or below the 50th percentile. None of the factors were correlated with the high crime group; however, differences did exist between the football players and non-athletes. The football players and non-athletes differed on personality traits, entitlement, and exposure to violence. There were no differences on the BIDR, which suggests that both groups responded to the survey with a similar level of frankness. This study indicates that there are several noteworthy differences among football players and their non-athlete counterparts. These are areas that can be addressed through interventions in order to decrease any risk and ultimately maximize participation in their intended pursuits.

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