Peer aggression in soccer (football) in Quebec among U12 to U18 elite players of sport study programs: differences according to age and player’s role

By Martin Gendron, Eric Frenette

The following study intends to provide an overview of the situation for U12 to U18 soccer (football) sport study school programs regarding the presence of aggressive behaviors (verbal intimidation, physical intimidation, physical violence) as perceived by Quebec players from elite levels based on their age and their role in peer aggression (witness, victim, bully). A total of 609 elite soccer players from U12 to U18 categories (61% boys, 39% girls), 12 to 17 years of age, completed the Questionnaire d’enquête sur le climat dans le soccer amateur au Québec (QECSA; Gendron, Debarbieux, Bodin, & Frenette, 2006). An overview is developed based on the prevalence of the three types of aggression and a breakdown by age and player’s roles. Repeated measures ANOVA indicate that the prevalence of aggression increases for each role with age but stabilizes after 14-15 years of age, except for witness of verbal intimidation, which continues to increase. For each role, more players self identify as a witness, followed by self-identification as a victim and lastly, as a bully. Interaction (player’s role and age) is significant for physical intimidation and physical violence. The results are discussed taking the existing literature into account.


  • soccer
  • aggression
  • player’s role
  • age
  • sport study programs
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