Objectives: To develop a questionnaire on attitudes to moral decision making in youth sport and describe the levels of ethical attitudes in young competitors. Design: One qualitative and 4 quantitative studies. Method: First, 11 focus group interviews with 50 competitors, aged 11–17 years, identified their attitudes to moral issues. Subsequently, exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses with samples of 435 and 218 competitors eliminated unsuitable items, to improve conceptual clarity and factorial validity, and reduced a 56-item pilot questionnaire to a 3-factor 18-item instrument measuring. Acceptance of Cheating, Acceptance of Gamesmanship, and Keeping Winning in Proportion. Then exploratory modifications were made in a restricted framework to develop a 9-item gender-invariant instrument using a sample of 1126 competitors. Finally, with 375 participants, the 3-factor model was cross-validated and concurrent validity was demonstrated by correlations with a similar instrument. Results: All psychometric criteria were met. Males, older and team sport athletes scored higher than females, younger and individual sport athletes on acceptance of cheating and gamesmanship. Acceptance of gamesmanship was also higher among athletes at higher competitive levels and keeping winning in proportion was higher in females. Conclusion: We present a sound psychometric instrument to assess 3 ethical attitudes in young competitors.
- tests and testing
- sport psychology