Youth Athletes’ Perception of Existence and Prevalence of Aggression and Interpersonal Violence and Their Forms in Serbia

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Aggression and interpersonal violence (IV) against children and youth are issues in contemporary society. The current study reports on the youth athletes’ perception of the aggression and IV prevalence and its manifestation forms in a Serbian context. The sample included athletes (N = 2091) between the age of 11 and 18 years. Data were collected through an ad-hoc questionnaire created by the authors. Respondents’ answers to introductory questions about the frequency of IV indicated its absence (78.1%). However, the answers to the questions about specific forms of violent peer behavior indicated forms as well as the time and place where IV most often occurs. They underlined that IV takes place mainly after training or competition and during sports camps; and that the dressing room is the most favorable place for these behaviors. They also confirmed that the most prevalent subtypes of IV are psychological (roughly 40%) and physical (approximately 30%). The respondents’ opinions and experiences about IV (psychological, physical, sexual) revealed that factors such as gender, location, and parents’ education level may influence the IV manifestation. Highlighting the prevalence and the most frequently manifesting types of aggression and IV could help in awareness-raising of these social issues.
Кључне речи
interpersonal violence; aggression; athletes; youth sport; Serbia