Verbal and physical violence against athletes: gender differences and differences according to the type of sport


  • Irena Cajner Mraovic Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb
  • Lucija Tomic Faculty of Croatian study, University of Zagreb
  • Matea Korad Faculty of Croatian studies, University of Zagreb


team sports, physical violence, individual sports, gender, sport, verbal violence


In addition to various benefits for the physical, mental, and social development of a person, sport can also be an environment in which verbal and physical violence against athletes occurs. The aim of this study is to determine the extent to which athletes of the City of Zagreb are exposed to verbal and physical violence by coaches, other players, parents, sponsors, and spectators and whether there are differences in exposure to such violence depending on gender and type of sport. A total of 135 athletes from the City of Zagreb participated in the research, who, by using a questionnaire, evaluated the frequency of verbal and physical violence by coaches, other players, parents, sponsors, and spectators. The results of the research show that athletes from the City of Zagreb are exposed to verbal and physical violence by all surveyed actors. In addition, male athletes are more exposed to verbal violence by coaches, other players, parents and spectators, and to physical violence by coaches and other athletes than female athletes. When it comes to the type of sport, no statistically significant differences in exposure to verbal and physical violence were found in athletes who engage in individual sports and those who engage in team sports. The obtained results indicate the importance of changing the focus in sports from the results to the personal development of the athletes themselves.


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