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Psychology student aims to stop violence in sport

Rugby players


With violence in sport a constant topic of discussion, Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced student Lauren Linton has set out to understand the connection between athletes and antisocial attitudes. Conducting a study as part of her 100% online research project, Lauren aims to understand the source of violent behaviour by interviewing Rugby Union and Rugby League players.

As someone who has played both sports, Lauren noticed that anti-social attitudes among players remain prevalent, particularly when on the field. She wanted to take a deeper look into this and understand what differences might exist between rugby players and non-rugby players.

So far the results have been surprising, with 40 rugby union players, 30 non-rugby players and only 1 rugby league player participating in the online study. Despite several call outs, Lauren has struggled to find rugby league players willing to participate.

“There are so many different factors to the study, and that’s why I’m excited to do it,” says Lauren. “It’s the first-ever study that’s looking at both rugby league and union players.”

“Usually, most research at an executive function concerns the general population,” says Lauren’s supervisor Dr Michael Rowlands, which is what makes Lauren’s research unique.

The study aims to find what prevention and intervention strategies can be implemented to change antisocial attitudes.

“They allow players to punch up on the field and then ban them for two weeks...I think that the punishment needs to be harder,” says Lauren, “We don't want it to be ok that violence is occurring in sport.”

If you would like to participate in the study, the survey can be accessed online via this link. The survey will close on June 30, 2019.

Watch this video on NBN news for the full interview with Lauren.