Ethics, Integrity and Well-Being in Elite Sport: A Systematic Review

Authors: Deborah Agnew, Philippa Henderson and Carl Woods

Corresponding Author:
Deb Agnew, PhD
GPO Box 2100
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 5001
deb.agnew@flinders.edu.au
+61 8 8201 3456

Dr. Deborah Agnew: is a lecturer in the School of Education at Flinders University in South Australia. Her research interests include Australian football, masculinity, sports retirement and men’s health. She is a member of the Flinders SHAPE (Sport, Health and Physical Education) Research Centre and teaches in the Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity.

Ms. Philippa Henderson: has a Masters degree in public health and teaches across a wide variety of health topics in the School of Education and the School of Health Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia. Her research interests include sport, physical activity and well-being as well as the health and well-being of children.

Dr. Carl Woods: is a lecturer of Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning in the Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science at James Cook University. His research primarily focuses on talent identification, talent development and coaching in junior team sports; with a particular interest in Australian football. He currently provides research support to Australian football State Academy programs; with this being oriented around different aspects of performance analysis, skill acquisition and coach education.

Ethics, integrity and well-being in elite sport: A systematic review

ABSTRACT
Background: Athletes are expected to be good role models, compete fairly and allow the public insight into their personal lives away from sport.
Objective: The purpose of this paper was to conduct a systematic review on integrity, ethics and well-being in elite level sport.
Methods: A systematic search of SPORTDiscus, ScienceDirect, Taylor & Francis and Informit was conducted. The selection criteria were; published between 2006-2016, full-text availability, peer reviewed and English language. Twenty-three articles met the criteria for inclusion in this review and were analysed through an inductive thematic synthesis approach.
Results: Three themes emerged through the inductive thematic synthesis approach; sportspersonship and ethics, scandal and well-being. The concept of sportspersonship extends beyond the rules of sport and is strongly linked to the character of athletes. Sports environments are a key factor in the well-being of athletes and contribute to the expectations placed on athletes, particularly with regard to winning.
Conclusions: Ethics, integrity, sportspersonship and well-being are interrelated concepts in elite sport. Expectations placed on athletes may be unrealistic and may have negative consequences on well-being. It is important to understand the factors contributing to athlete well-being in order to develop strategies to minimize the adversities faced by athletes.

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