BULLYING AND SINGLE CASES OF HARASSMENT IN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAMS
Jolita Vveinhardt, Regina Andriukaitienė – Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
Relevance of the research. Despite the well-recognised benefits of sport, there are also negative influences on athlete health, well-being and integrity caused by non-accidental violence through harassment and abuse. All athletes have a right to engage in safe sport, defined as an athletic environment that is respectful, equitable and free from all forms of non-accidental violence (Mountjoy et al., 2016). Specificity of team sports is in the fact that synergy of the team members is very important in this sport. Therefore, such phenomen as harassment, or even bullying should not be recorded there at all. However, in the scientific sources (Tofler, 2016) the signals are being detected that even in the teams that strive for a common result a negative behaviour is not an exception. However, more attention is being focused towards interrelationship between children and teenagers as well as contemporaries and a coach. Although, according to Evans et al. (2016), bullying is a specific pattern of repeated victimization explored with great frequency in school-based environment, but still receiving little attention within the sport. However, the relevance of this research is supported not only by the fact that negative behaviour is being analysed in team sport, but also that a topic of gender is especially important (Kirby, 2004; Marks et al., 2012). On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, with a key foundational scholar on gender and sport, Fasting (2015), assesses sociological inquiry about sexual harassment in sport and its relation to the development of the policy. The trajectory of this research on gender, sexual harassment and abuse (GSHA) in sport lies in feminist politics and advocacy. According to Fathynah and Syahirah (2015) in sports, sexual harassment does happen but limited studies have been conducted. Sports related institutions need to introduce a code of conduct to eliminate any forms of sexual harassment in a sports environment. The object of the research is bullying and single cases of harassment, and the aim is to determine the extent of prevalence of bullying and single cases of harassment in women’s basketball teams.
Research methods and organization. The research was organized by combining team participation in the survey with coaches of the teams. Having received coaches’ permission, six women teams were interviewed with a total 72 players. The survey was used the questionnaire “Bullying and single cases of harassment in sport (BSCH-S)” validated by J. Vveinhardt. Since representatives from different countries play in the teams, the questionnaires were in three languages, i.e. Lithuanian, English and Russian. The survey was executed via internet, and separate references to the questionnaire were created for every team.
Results and discussion. It was determined that between the basketball women players, harassment was experienced by 32.9 % of women; 11.4 % of them stated that they experienced bullying, when duration of harassment was longer than 6 months, and frequency of actions was not less than once a week. Players who aggrieved from such negative behaviour shared their hard feelings with family members (12.6 %) and close friends (9 %), and only 6.3 % with a coach. Negative behaviour of the coach himself/herself, which was ascribed by the players to harassment and bullying, was experienced by 12.8 % of players; therefore, even 5.4 % of basketball players stated that they had intentions to leave the team. However, basketball players received the most help from other members of the team (13.9 %), friends who did not belong to the team (13.9 %) and family members (15.8 %). It was determined that sexual harassment was claimed to be experienced by 1.4 % of the basketball team players.
Conclusions. Having analysed the results of the research, it should be stated that coaches often know what is going on in their teams, but avoid taking measures to stop harassment till it has not turned into bullying. It should be emphasized that in the sample of this research no player of the team mentioned violence actions committed by the team players in their club, organized trainings, seminars that explain how to avoid psychological, physical violence and/or how to behave in such case.