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Meghan S. Ingstrup, Amber D. Mosewich and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore factors that contributed to the development of self-compassion among highly self-compassionate women varsity athletes. More specifically, the research question was: how did women varsity athletes with high self-compassion perceive they became self-compassionate? To purposefully sample participants, 114 women varsity athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003b). Ten athletes with high self-compassion scores then participated in individual interviews and a follow-up second interview. Data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Analysis produced three main themes that contributed to the development of self-compassion: (a) role of parents (seeking and receiving help from parents, parents teaching self-kindness, parents putting experiences in perspective); (b) gaining self-awareness; and (c) learning from others (peers, siblings, coaches, sport psychologists). These findings provide insights into the ways in which self-compassion can be learned and taught, and have implications for practitioners who work with women athletes.

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Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of leadership styles in model youth football coaches. Six award-winning youth football coaches participated, and each was interviewed twice. Within a qualitative descriptive framework, deductive analysis was completed to identify the coaches’ leadership styles, using the charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic model of outstanding leadership. Whereas pragmatic leadership behaviors were most frequently identified, all coaches appeared to have mixed leadership styles. Inductive analysis was then used to examine factors that influenced the coaches’ leadership development. Identified themes were role models, networks of coaches, experience and reflection, and formal, nonformal, and informal learning. These were consistent across all the coaches, regardless of leadership style. This study therefore provides new insights into the perceived use of pragmatic behaviors in mixed leadership styles in model youth sport coaches and indicates that similar factors contributed to their leadership development.

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Amber D. Mosewich, Kent C. Kowalski, Catherine M. Sabiston, Whitney A. Sedgwick and Jessica L. Tracy

Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and potentially unhealthy self-evaluative thoughts and behaviors (i.e., social physique anxiety, obligatory exercise, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation). Young women athletes (N = 151; M age = 15.1 years) participated in this study. Self-compassion was negatively related to shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, social physique anxiety, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. In support of theoretical propositions, self-compassion explained variance beyond self-esteem on shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, shame-free guilt proneness, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. Results suggest that, in addition to self-esteem promotion, self-compassion development may be beneficial in cultivating positive sport experiences for young women.

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Amber D. Mosewich, Peter R.E. Crocker, Kent C. Kowalski and Anita DeLongis

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.

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Amber D. Mosewich, Catherine M. Sabiston, Kent C. Kowalski, Patrick Gaudreau and Peter R.E. Crocker

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.