The antecedents, consequences and coping strategies of aggression displayed by womens Rugby Union players during match time
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of this study was to examine the antecedents of aggression in womens rugby union players, and what effect they perceived this to have on their performance. Identification of coping strategies was also an objective of the study, to examine the participants’ use of approach and avoidance coping, and what relation this had with performance. The Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire was gathered from each participant following their involvement in four different rugby union matches. Mean anger scores were calculated from the questionnaires, those participants possessing the highest anger scores were then interviewed. Case reports were written on each individual interviewee, condensing their responses from the transcribed interviews. It was found that interviewees described aggression in terms of assertion, and that their perceived feelings of aggression were as a result of heightened frustration. The main causes of heightened frustration were identified as teammates, opponents, coaches and officials, which resulted in the use of aggressive behaviour, demonstrating the frustration-aggression hypothesis. Participants believed that aggression could have both a positive and negative effect on performance, exemplifying aggressions complexity. Each participant acknowledged their use of both approach and avoidance coping in different situations, but also that their coping responses didn’t always aid performance. A limitation of this study was its relative small sample size with a 50% drop out rate, limiting the generalizability of results. Future research is required in this area to examine coping effectiveness and whether coping can be operationalised effectively into dispositional and situational coping.
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