Aggressive behaviour in sport: An application of the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) to South African university student-athletes

  • J Dubihlela
  • J Surujlal
Keywords: Aggressive behaviour, aggression in sport, university athletes, South Africa


It is well established in literature that aggressive behaviour continues to be prevalent in many sporting activities despite the potential positive contribution that sport has made to athletes, society, universities and economies. The main aim of this study was to assess the application of an adapted version of the original Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) to measure aggression and its four factors (physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility) amongst South African university athletes. The sample consisted of 300 athletes from three South African universities to whom the aggression questionnaire (herein called the AQ-SA) was administered. The results of the study supported the Buss and Perry four-factor structure, indicating that the AQ-SA can be useful for the measurement of aggression in a South African setting. The results showed that most athletes expressed moderate to low physical aggression, verbal aggression and hostility; and exhibited low levels of anger during sporting events. There is a need to devise ways to preserve the positive athletic-behaviour of South African university competitors. Research limitations and implications are reported and further research suggested.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939