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PCA Resource Center

Hazing Diminishes Performace

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PCA National Advisory Board Member, William S. Pollack, Ph.D., FAACP is the Founding Principal of the National Violence Prevention and Study Center & The Centers for Men, Young Men & Boys, an Independent Consultant on Bullying, Behavioral Threat Assessment and the creation of “Safe Climates.” He presently is Associate Clinical Professor (Psychology) in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Faculty member & Senior Consultant at the Departments of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and the Cambridge Health Alliance. Pollack also authored Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Masculinity where he articulated the idea of “the boy code” and the pressures toward bullying and violence.

In this video clip, Pollack concisely outlines why hazing is both bad and completely impractical. There are positive initiation rites for bringing a new person into a group or team. These rituals can improve bonding and performance. Hazing, on the other hand, is not only psychologically damaging, but it can also diminish performance. Athletes should keep initiations positive for the best results.