Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense

11-27-2017

Graduate Advisor

Brenda L. Bredemeier

Co-Advisor

David L. Shields

Committee

Marvin W. Berkowitz

Cody Ding

Abstract

Moral functioning is complex and implicates numerous cognitive and affective processes. Drawing upon Rest’s four-component model of moral functioning and more recent dual-process accounts of cognition, the current study examined a model of moral functioning in both sport and school contexts. Specifically, drawing upon the empirical record, a model of moral functioning was proposed and tested wherein moral identity influenced the adoption of specific contesting orientations, which, in turn, influenced prosocial and antisocial behaviors, both directly and indirectly via moral foundations and moral disengagement. Fit of the model was moderately strong in both contexts, though significant contextual differences emerged, both in terms of interrelationships between moral variables and in intra-individual variability within moral variables. Findings suggested that moral identity, a partnership approach to contesting, and moral foundations that emphasize care and fairness were associated with reduced antisocial behavior across contexts, while a war approach to contesting and moral disengagement were associated with increased antisocial behavior across contexts. Thus, practitioners concerned with athletes’ moral behavior may do well to: 1) promote the importance of moral concerns to the athlete’s self-identity; 2) highlight the cooperative and mutually-beneficial aspects of contests; and, 3) emphasize the importance of the moral values of care and fairness.

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