The Situationist

The Link Between Sideline Rage and Road Rage

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 23, 2008

UPI has an interesting write-up on new research by Jay Goldstein, a kinesiology doctoral student at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Goldstein links persons susceptible to road rage with those who get upset while watching their kids play youth soccer. We excerpt the piece below.

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Ego defensiveness, one of the triggers that ignites road rage, also kicks off parental “sideline rage” at a child’s soccer game, U.S. researchers said.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, said that if a person has a tendency to become upset while driving, he or she is more likely to be the kind of parent who explodes in anger at a child’s sports matches.

Jay Goldstein, a kinesiology doctoral student at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, surveyed 340 predominantly white middle-class parents at youth soccer games in suburban Washington, and found parents became angry when their ego got in the way.

“When they perceived something that happened during the game to be personally directed at them or their child, they got angry,” Goldstein said in a statement. “That’s consistent with findings on road rage.”

Goldstein defines control-oriented people as far more likely to take something personally and flare up at referees, opposing players and even their own children, than autonomy-oriented parents, who take greater responsibility for their own behavior.

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For the rest of the piece, click here. For some related Situationist posts, see “Do Car Bumper Stickers Signal Driver Aggression?,” “The Psychological Toll of Automobile Traffic,” and “Car Bonding.”

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