Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Prevalence of bullying and harassment in youth sport: The case of different types of sport and participant role

Jolita Vveinhardt, Vilija Bite Fominiene



Purpose: Studies on participation of various social groups in sports reveal not only positive but also negative impact of this activity on the person’s health, well-being and future. A particularly serious social problem in sport is the aggressive behaviour of all participants, which can also manifest itself as bullying and cause a number of negative consequences. The aim of the research is to identify the prevalence of bullying and harassment in organized sport in the case of individual, combat, team sports and participant roles. Methodology. A supplemented version of Bullying and harassment in sport questionnaire (BHISQ) was used to conduct the survey. The survey involved 1440 participants of organized sport. Findings: Almost one third of research participants in the team sports identified themselves as victims, which is significantly more than the sum of the results of two remaining groups. Comparing the percentages of victims’ and bystanders’ confessions, it has been found that bullying in individual sports can be significantly more active; i.e., the number of athletes who have seen bullying is significantly higher than the number of athletes who have named themselves as victims. The highest manifestation of bullying unfolds in team sports, where most – almost one fifth – of respondents attributed the role of the bully against their team member(s) to themselves, while the percentages of bullies against opponents in combat and team sports are similar. In combat and team sports, unlike in the individual sports, the roles of bullies against opponents, unfolding in bullying actions, are more frequently expressed.


Bullying; Harassment; Organized sport; Athletes; Lithuania


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