Examining social identity and intrateam moral behaviours in competitive youth ice hockey using stimulated recall

Mark W. Bruner, Ian Boardley, Sara Buckham, Zack Root, Veronica Allen, Chris Forrest, Jean Côté

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Social identity – identity formed through membership in groups – may play an important role in regulating intrateam moral behaviour in youth sport (Bruner, Boardley, & Côté, 2014). The aim of this study was to qualitatively examine this potential role through stimulated recall interviews with competitive youth-ice-hockey players. Twenty-three players (Mage = 13.27 years, SD = 27 1.79) who reported engaging in high, median or low frequency of antisocial teammate behaviour (determined through pre-screening with the Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviour in Sport Scale [Kavussanu & Boardley, 2009]) were recruited from eight youth-ice-hockey teams in Canada. Interviews involved participants recalling their thoughts during prosocial/antisocial interactions with teammates, prompted by previously recorded video sequences of such incidents. Thematic analysis of interview data revealed all athletes’ – regardless of reported frequency of intrateam antisocial behaviour – felt prosocial interactions with teammates enhanced social identity. In contrast, the perceived influence of antisocial teammate behaviour on social identity differed depending on athletes’ reported frequency of intrateam antisocial behaviour; those reporting low and median frequencies described how such behaviour undermines social identity, whereas athletes reporting high frequency did not perceive this effect. The study findings highlight the potential importance of intrateam moral behaviour and social identity for youth-sport team functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2016


  • group dynamics
  • prosocial behaviour
  • antisocial behaviour
  • team sport


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