Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Joel Cormier

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science


Differences in aggression tendencies between athletes who play a contact sport and athletes who play a non-contact sport at the collegiate level were investigated. Specifically, emotional, physical, and competitive aggression tendencies were measured for both groups and then compared to each other using independent t tests and effect sizes. One hundred student-athletes from a medium sized midwestern university participated in the study, with an even split between contact and non-contact athletes. Student-athletes were sent an electronic survey via email and Survey Monkey; all materials were approved by the university's Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Athletics department.

It was determined that a significant difference exists between athletes who play a contact sport and athletes who play a non-contact sport. Athletes participating in a contact sport displayed higher levels of aggression in all three categories: emotional aggression, physical aggression, and competitive aggression. Football was the most aggressive sport in all three categories of aggression and golf was the least. Tennis scored higher than any other non-contact sport, particularly in emotional aggression. Soccer scored lower than any other contact sport and even lower than a few of the non-contact sports in competitive aggression.