Doping is an important issue in competitive sports and poses potentially irreversible consequences to athletes. Understanding the psychological process underlying antecedents and doping intention will inform policy and prevention. This study aimed to test the psychosocial mechanisms of doping in adolescent athletes using an integrated model. In this model, we examined the associations of perceived motivational climate (i.e., task-involving and ego-involving), moral variables (i.e., moral disengagement and sportspersonship), and attitudinal variables (i.e., perceived pros/cons of doping and perceived cons of not doping) with doping intention. We further investigated whether the moral variables mediated the relationship between perceived motivational climate and doping intention. A cross-sectional survey was employed in the present study. Six hundred and fifteen Chinese adolescent athletes (mean age = 15.68 ± 1.67 years) completed questionnaires measuring demographic information and the variables mentioned previously. Structural equation modeling showed that the hypothesized model had a good fit and explained 64.1% of the variance in doping intention. Task-involving motivational climate indicated both directly and indirectly negative associations with doping intention via sportspersonship. The ego-involving motivational climate was positively associated with doping intention via moral disengagement. Among perceived pros/cons of doping and perceived cons of not doping, both perceived cons of doping and cons of not doping were positively associated with doping intention with a small effect size. This study confirmed the roles of tasking- and ego-involving motivational climates, moral variables, and attitudinal variables on doping intention. These research findings may provide new insights for the future of intention-based doping prevention programmes.
Scopus Subject Areas
- doping intention
- ego-involving motivational climate
- moral disengagement
- task-involving motivational climate