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Brittany N. Semenchuk, Shaelyn M. Strachan and Michelle Fortier

Self-compassion facilitates health behavior self-regulation; few studies have examined self-compassion and exercise. This online, cross-sectional study investigated self-compassion’s relationship with exercise self-regulation of an exercise setback. Adults (N = 105) who had experienced an exercise setback within the last 6 months completed baseline measures, recalled an exercise setback, and completed questionnaires assessing self-regulation in this context. Self-compassion associated with self-determined motivations and exercise goal reengagement, and negatively related to extrinsic motivations, state rumination, and negative affect. Self-compassion predicted unique variance, beyond self-esteem, in exercise goal reengagement, external regulation, state rumination, and negative affect experienced after an exercise setback. Self-compassion and self-esteem had unique relationships with goal reengagement, state rumination, and situational motivation, while having a complementary relationship with negative affect. This research adds to the few studies that examine the role of self-compassion in exercise self-regulation by examining how self-compassion and self-esteem relate to reactions to a recalled exercise setback.

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Parminder K. Flora, Shaelyn M. Strachan, Lawrence R. Brawley and Kevin S. Spink

Research on exercise identity (EXID) indicates that it is related to negative affect when exercisers are inconsistent or relapse. Although identity theory suggests that causal attributions about this inconsistency elicit negative self-conscious emotions of shame and guilt, no EXID studies have examined this for exercise relapse. Weiner’s attribution-based theory of interpersonal motivation (2010) offers a means of testing the attribution-emotion link. Using both frameworks, we examined whether EXID and attributional properties predicted negative emotions for exercise relapse. Participants (n = 224) read an exercise relapse vignette, and then completed EXID, attributions, and emotion measures. Hierarchical multiple regression models using EXID and the attributional property of controllability significantly predicted each of shame and guilt, R2 adjusted = .09, ps ≤ .001. Results support identity theory suggestions and Weiner’s specific attribution-emotion hypothesis. This first demonstration of an interlinking of EXID, controllability, and negative self-conscious emotions offers more predictive utility using complementary theories than either theory alone.

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Marie-Josée Perrier, Shaelyn M. Strachan, Brett Smith and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Individuals with acquired physical disabilities report lower levels of athletic identity. The objective of this study was to further explore why athletic identity may be lost or (re)developed after acquiring a physical disability. Seven women and four men (range = 28–60 years) participated in approximately 1-hour-long semi-structured interviews; data were subjected to a narrative analysis. The structural analysis revealed three narrative types. The nonathlete narrative described physical changes in the body as reasons for diminished athletic identity. The athlete as a future self primarily focused on present sport behavior and performance goals such that behavior changes diminished athletic identity. The present self as athlete narrative type focused on the aspects of their present sport involvement, such as feedback from other athletes and skill development, which supported their athletic identity. Implications of these narrative types with respect to sport promotion among people with acquired physical disabilities are discussed.