Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Chair

Damien Clement


Objective. To examine the potential relationship that exists between the level of aggressiveness and the number of injuries reported during the course of a season. The secondary analysis will determine whether aggressiveness is related to moral disengagement. Background. There are a number of factors that exist that may predispose an athlete to sustaining an injury during participation in sports. According to the researchers Anderson and Bushman innate personality factors may play a role in the event of an injury. One factor that has not been thoroughly examined in the literature is aggressiveness in athletes, which is essentially the personality trait of acting aggressively. Since this factor could potentially be modifiable through an intervention involving both the athletic training staff and a trained sports psychology professional further researcher is necessary. In addition to injury rate, aggressiveness has been negatively implicated in moral reasoning. Theorized by Bandura, moral disengagement, is composed of eight individual mechanisms which allow the individual to free themselves of having to accept blame for transgressions. The eight processes of moral disengagement are moral justification, euphemistic labeling, advantageous comparison, displacement of responsibility, diffusion of responsibility, distortion of consequences, dehumanization, and finally attribution of blame. Design and Setting. A convenience sample was utilized for the data collection using athletes at Division III Mid-Atlantic University. The coaches of various teams at the school were contacted to inquire whether they would allow their athletes to participate in the current study. The data was collected during team meetings, spring practices, and prior to team lifting sessions. Packets containing the Competitive Anger and Aggressiveness Scale (CAAS), the Moral Disengagement in Sport Scale (MDSS), and a demographics questionnaire were distributed to the participants. The number of injuries sustained during the most recent season were counted and recorded. Participants. A total of 116 athletes participated in the study involved in a variety of sports including the football team (n=73), men's basketball ( n = 12), women's basketball (n = 5), men's soccer (n = 21), and women's soccer (n = 5). All collegiate levels were represented by the sample population with an age range of 18 to 26 years old (M = 19.655, SD = 1.326). Results. A positive significant weak correlation was determined to exist between the number of reported injuries and the aggressiveness scale on the CAAS (r (116) =0.216; p = 0.02). Positive correlations were found to exist between aggressiveness on the CAAS and the subscales of the MDSS: Conduct Reconstrual (r (116) = 0.598; p < 0.001), Advantageous Comparison ( r (116) = 0.481; p < 0.001), Non-responsibility, (r (116) = 0.448; p < 0.001), Distortion of Consequences (r (116) = 0.516; p < 0.001), Dehumanization (r (116) = 0.558; p < 0.001), and finally Attribution of Blame (r (116) = 0.407, p < 0.001). Conclusions. The findings of this research may allow athletic trainers and other members of the sports medicine department prevent injuries for those athletes that have been identified as acting aggressively by intervening through various methods.