Development of a scale to measure moral disengagement for occupational gains to enhance our understanding of the use of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) in the workplace

Main Article Content

Michael Johansen
Sandra Leyland
Paul Davis
Jonathan Ling


Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) are a cause of concern for those seeking to reduce health harms and associated transgressive behaviour. This form of behaviour is associated with moral disengagement and is collectively used to refer to acts that can have negative interpersonal consequences (Kavussanu, 2019). Moral disengagement (Bandura 1991) refers to cognitive mechanisms that separate our moral values from our actions, resulting in behaviour that conflicts with our moral values. This model has been used to theorise the use of PIEDs for occupational performance gains - for instance, in the police or in private security- with the development of the psychometric Moral Disengagement for Occupational Gains Scale. In this investigation, 84 participants (34 PIED and 50 Non-PIED users) from 10 occupations completed an online questionnaire, shared via social media. The questionnaire was based on an 8-factor model proposed by Bandura et al. (1996), with items adapted from validated scales investigating doping in sport. Twenty items measured the following factors: Moral Justification, Euphemistic Labelling, Advantageous Comparison, Diffusion of Responsibility, Distortion of Consequences and Displacement of Responsibility. Participants completed the questionnaire using a 7-point scale (1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree). The Moral Disengagement for Occupational Gains Scale (MDOGS) has demonstrated initial psychometric properties that support the use as a valid and reliable measure of moral disengagement for research into the use of PIEDs in an occupational context.

Article Details

How to Cite
Johansen, M., Leyland, S., Davis, P., & Ling, J. (2022). Development of a scale to measure moral disengagement for occupational gains to enhance our understanding of the use of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) in the workplace. Scientific Journal of Sport and Performance, 1(4), 273–284.
Sport Medicine
Author Biographies

Michael Johansen, University of Sunderland

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

Sandra Leyland, University of Sunderland

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

Paul Davis, University of Sunderland

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

Jonathan Ling, University of Sunderland

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.


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