A Preliminary Exploration of the Application of Self-Compassion Within the Context of Sport Injury

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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In a prospective study of collegiate athletes (N = 117), the application of self-compassion within the context of sport injury was explored. Previous literature indicated that self-compassion enhances adaptive coping and well-being and reduces anxiety in stress-provoking situations. This research suggested that it could potentially reduce the stress response and subsequent injury risk. Findings indicated that self-compassion may buffer the experience of somatic anxiety (rs = −.436, p < .01) and worry (rs = −.351, p < .01), and reduce the engagement of avoidance-focused coping strategies (rs = −.362, p < .01). There were no significant findings related to self-compassion and injury reduction. A challenge with this research is distinguishing the impact of resistance to self-compassion from the potential benefits that it may have on coping and appraisal of stress in sport. This research was a preliminary exploration of self-compassion within the context of responses to stress and subsequent injury risk. Results suggest that further investigation across different athletic populations, sports, and injury situations is warranted.

The authors are with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

Address author correspondence to Zenzi Huysmans at zehuysmans@mix.wvu.edu.
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