Exploring Self-Compassion and Eudaimonic Well-Being in Young Women Athletes

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Using a mixed methods research design, we explored self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being in young women athletes. In a quantitative study (n = 83), we found that self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being were positively related (r = .76, p < .01). A model of multiple mediation was proposed, with self-compassion, passivity, responsibility, initiative, and self-determination accounting for 83% of the variance in eudaimonic well-being. In a qualitative study (n = 11), we explored when and how self-compassion might be useful in striving to reach one’s potential in sport. Self-compassion was described as advantageous in difficult sport-specific situations by increasing positivity, perseverance, and responsibility, as well as decreasing rumination. Apprehensions about fully embracing a self-compassionate mindset in sport warrant additional research to explore the seemingly paradoxical role of self-compassion in eudaimonic well-being.

Leah J. Ferguson and Kent C. Kowalski are with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Diane E. Mack is with the Department of Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Catherine M. Sabiston is with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.