Preprint / Version 1

Development of Moral Disengagement and Self-Regulatory Efficacy Assessments Relevant to Doping in Sport and Exercise


  • Ian Boardley
  • Alan L. Smith
  • John P. Mills
  • Jonathan Grix
  • Ceri Wynne
  • Luke Wilkins



anticipated guilt, empathy, measurement, performance enhancing drugs


Objectives: To develop Moral Disengagement (MD) and Self-Regulatory Efficacy (SRE) instruments relevant to doping in sport and exercise and provide evidence for their validity and reliability. Design: Cross-sectional, correlational Methods: Data were collected from male and female team- and individual-sport athletes and corporate- and hardcore-gym exercisers. Two samples (nsample 1 = 318; nsample 2 = 300) were utilized in instrument development and score validation and another (nsample 3 = 101) in examining test-retest reliability. Samples 1 and 2 responded to the newly developed items alongside others assessing theoretically-related variables, whereas Sample 3 completed the new instruments on two separate occasions. Results: Factor analyses identified the final items and dimensional structures for the Doping Moral Disengagement Scale (DMDS), Doping Moral Disengagement Scale–Short (DMDS–S) and Doping Self-Regulatory Efficacy Scale (DSRES). The DMDS has six lower- and one higher-order factor, whereas the DMDS-S and DSRES are unidimensional. These structures were invariant by sex and sport/exercise context. Evidence supporting external validity and test-retest reliability was also provided. Conclusion: This research developed and provided evidence of score validity and internal consistency for three instruments relevant to doping in sport and exercise.


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