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Jennifer Brunet, Catherine Sabiston, Andree Castonguay, Leah Ferguson and Natalia Bessette

The objectives of this study were to test the associations between physical self-discrepancies (actual:ideal and actual:ought) and physical activity behavior, and to examine whether motivational regulations mediate these associations using self-discrepancy (Higgins, 1987) and organismic integration (Deci & Ryan, 1985) theories as guiding frameworks. Young women (N = 205; M age = 18.87 years, SD = 1.83) completed self-report questionnaires. Main analyses involved path analysis using a polynomial regression approach, estimation of direct and indirect effects, and evaluation of response surface values. Agreement between actual and ideal (or ought) physical self-perceptions was related to physical activity both directly and indirectly as mediated by the motivational regulations (R 2 = .24–.30). Specifically, when actual and ideal self-perceptions scores were similar, physical activity levels increased as actual and ideal scores increased. Furthermore, physical activity levels were lower when the discrepancy was such that ideal or ought self were higher than actual self. These findings provide support for integrating self-discrepancy and organismic integration theories to advance research in this area.

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Leah J. Ferguson, Kent C. Kowalski, Diane E. Mack and Catherine M. Sabiston

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.

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Nathan A. Reis, Kent C. Kowalski, Amber D. Mosewich and Leah J. Ferguson

Despite a growing emphasis on self-compassion in sport, little research has focused exclusively on men athletes. The purpose of this research was to explore the interaction of self-compassion and diverse versions of masculinity on the psychosocial well-being of men athletes. The authors sampled 172 men athletes (M age = 22.8 yr) from a variety of sports, using descriptive methodology with self-report questionnaires. Self-compassion was related to most variables (e.g., psychological well-being, fear of negative evaluation, state self-criticism, internalized shame, reactions to a hypothetical sport-specific scenario) in hypothesized directions and predicted unique variance beyond self-esteem across most of those variables, as well as moderated relationships between masculinity and both autonomy and attitudes toward gay men. In addition, self-compassion was differentially related to inclusive and hegemonic masculinity. Our findings support self-compassion as a promising resource for men athletes to buffer emotionally difficult sport experiences.