Unethical behaviour in sport is a growing cause for concern. Value theory (Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1992) provides a paradigm for exploring value conflict through an understanding of personal value
priorities and a circumplex model based on value content. Values are central beliefs, ordered by importance, which guide decisions and behaviour and transcend situations. Martin Lee pioneered the
study of values and attitudes in youth sport over two decades (Whitehead, Telfer & Lambert, 2013). Playing well (a competence value) and playing fairly (a moral value) are compatible, but playing
fairly (moral) and winning (a status value) may conflict when there is pressure to win at all costs. Individuals may then respond differently according to their value priorities. This study tested the
prediction that competitors with contrasting value profiles would differ in antisocial and prosocial attitudes and achievement orientations; in particular, competitors who reported relatively high
moral values and low status values (HiMLoS) would have higher ethical attitudes and different achievement orientations from competitors with low moral values and high status values (LoMHiS).
Youth sport competitors (n=892) aged 12-15 years completed the Youth Sport Values Questionnaire-2 (YSVQ-2; Lee, Whitehead, Ntoumanis & Hatzigeorgiadis, 2008), the Attitudes to Moral Decision-making in
Youth Sport Questionnaire (AMDYSQ; Lee, Whitehead & Ntoumanis, 2007), the commitment and conventions scales of the Multidimensional Sportspersonship Orientations Scale (MSOS; Vallerand, Brière,
Blanchard & Provencher, 1997) and the children's version of the Perception Of Success Questionnaire (POSQ; Roberts, Treasure, & Balague, 1998). The correlation between YSVQ-2 moral and status values
(r =.15) showed them to be orthogonal hence 4 value-profile groups (High/Low x Moral/Status values) were formed by selecting participants more than +/- 1 SD beyond the mean. A one-way MANOVA examined
the effect of profile group on 6 dependent variables (cheating and gamesmanship scales from AMDYSQ, commitment and respect for conventions scales from MSOS, and task and ego orientation scales from
The multivariate effect was significant, Pillai's F (18, 243) = 8.50, p < .001, η2p = .39. All univariate effects were significant at p < .001. Cheating F (3,84) = 15.21, η2p = .35, gamesmanship F
(3,84) = 8.94, η2p = .24, commitment F (3,84) = 26.02, η2p = .48, conventions F (3,84) = 26.92, η2p = .49. task orientation F (3,84) = 28.07, η2p = .50, and ego orientation F (3,84) = 15.09, η2p =
.35. Post hoc pairwise comparisons using the Games-Howell method for unequal variances (alpha = .008 for 6 comparisons) showed the HiMLoS and LoMHiS groups differed on all 6 variables.
Competitors with contrasting value profiles differed in ethical attitudes and achievement orientations as predicted and further effects were found for other profiles. This implies that coaches and
teachers should identify dominant values in young competitors and act to promote ethical value profiles. Future research should extend the study to examine behavioural effects.