Self-Compassion in the Stress Process in Women Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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While self-compassion presents as a viable resource for managing difficult events in sport, little is known about how it functions in the stress process. In 2 studies with women university athletes (N = 122 and 131), the authors examined self-compassion as a prospective predictor of appraisal, coping, goal progress, and affect in a competition. Direct and indirect effects of self-compassion on aspects of the stress process were examined by testing full, partial, and moderated mediation models. Self-compassion plays a direct and indirect role in the stress process of competitive women athletes. Self-compassion significantly predicted higher control appraisals (Studies 1 and 2) and lower threat appraisals (Study 1), which explained coping tendencies of self-compassionate athletes. Sequential pathways linking appraisals and coping accounted for why athletes with higher self-compassion are more likely to have higher goal progress, more positive affect, and less negative affect. Overall, self-compassion promotes adaptive appraisals and coping.

Mosewich was with the School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, at the time of the study, as is Crocker currently. Mosewich is now with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Sabiston is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Kowalski is with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Gaudreau is with the School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Mosewich (amber.mosewich@ualberta.ca) is corresponding author.
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