Alcoholics Fanonymous: The relationships between reasons for drinking, aggression, and team identification in sports fans
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Prior research has illustrated that sport spectators, particularly those with higher team identification, display a willingness to engage in both hostile and instrumental aggressive acts towards opposing teams and officials. With alcohol consumption prominent at major sporting events across the United States, the relationship between drinking motivation and aggressive acts deserves greater scrutiny. Individuals may consume alcohol for a variety of reasons, such as for positive, social reasons or negative motives that seek to escape aversive features of the environment or one’s personal issues. The present experiment explored the relationships between sport fans’ reported motivation for alcohol consumption, various types of aggression, and team identification. Specifically, we examined positive (social) and negative (escape) reasons for drinking. We predicted that there would be positive relationships between (1) team identification and both negative and positive reasons for drinking, (2) team identification and both hostile and instrumental aggression, and (3) negative reasons for drinking and both hostile and instrumental aggression. In addition, we expected that positive reasons for drinking would be negatively associated with hostile and instrumental aggression. The results from our study provided partial support of our predictions. More highly identified fans reported a higher proclivity to perform hostile and instrumental acts compared to lower identified fans. Negative reasons for drinking were positively related to both types of aggression. Our experiment effectively replicates past research on aggression in sports fans. Future directions and implications of the current study are also discussed.
aggression, alcohol consumption, fan behaviour, reasons for drinking, team identification
Sean Pradhan, Nicholas A. Lee, Susan Snycerski, and Sean Laraway. "Alcoholics Fanonymous: The relationships between reasons for drinking, aggression, and team identification in sports fans" International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (2021): 626-649. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2019.1674904