Applying Self-Compassion in Sport: An Intervention With Women Athletes

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of British Columbia
  • | 2 University of Saskatchewan
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This study investigated the effects of a self-compassion intervention on negative cognitive states and selfcompassion in varsity women athletes. Athletes who self-identified as being self-critical were randomly assigned to a self-compassion intervention (n = 29) or attention control group (n = 22). The self-compassion intervention consisted of a psychoeducation session and writing components completed over a 7-day period. Measures of self-compassion, state self-criticism, state rumination, and concern over mistakes were collected pretreatment, at 1 week posttreatment, and at a 4-week follow-up. A mixed factorial MANOVA with follow-up post hoc tests demonstrated moderate-to-strong effects for the intervention at posttest and follow-up (Wilks’s Λ = .566, F (8, 42) = 4.03, p < .01, η2 = .43). The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the self-compassion intervention in managing self-criticism, rumination, and concern over mistakes. Fostering a self-compassionate frame of mind is a potential coping resource for women athletes dealing with negative events in sport.

Amber D. Mosewich is now with the School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia. Peter R.E. Crocker is with the School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Kent C. Kowalski is with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Anita DeLongis is with the Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.