Moral dilemmas in university populations


Student-athletes are identifiable members of university communities who are expected to behave in ways that align with school values. The purpose of this study was to test (a) if university student-athletes have more moral intentions than non-student athletes, and (b) whether being reminded of their affiliation to their university enhances student-athletes' moral intentions differently than general student populations. A 3X2 quasi-experimental design was used to test 16 student-athletes', 16 intramural athletes', and 23 regular university students' moral intentions under two conditions. In the experimental condition, participants responded to moral dilemmas while wearing team or university-affiliated apparel. In the control, participants wore non-affiliated apparel. In both conditions, participants completed the Social Identity Questionnaire in Sport, Adapted Social Identity Questionnaire in Sport, and a Social Desirability Scale. No significant difference between groups F(2,51) = 1.225, p = 0.302, partial ?2=.046 and conditions F(1,51) = 0.746, p = 0.392, partial ?2=.014 were found using mixed factorial statistical analyses. No significant interaction effect was found F(2,51) = 0.183, p = 0.532, partial ?2= .024. Results are discussed in the context of potential variables that affect moral intentions of different university student groups, as well as measurement concerns of this study (e.g., small sample size). Student-athletes are no different in moral intentions than other university student populations. Moreover, wearing university-affiliated apparel does not change the moral intentions of any student group. From an applied perspective, our results suggest that emphasizing student-athletes' roles as representatives of the university may be an insufficient behaviour change intervention.