Jeffery B. Allen (Committee Member), Robert A. Rando (Committee Chair), Julie Williams (Committee Member)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
While there are numerous health benefits that result from engaging in athletics, sport participation also comes with an intrinsic risk of injury. In order to understand the injury process (i.e., injury risk factors and recovery variables), researchers have used various models to conceptualize preinjury risk factors and postinjury response. Although personality factors, stress, coping skills, emotional response, and other factors have been studied, self-compassion is a relatively new construct to the western world that has not been examined in the injured athlete population. Self-compassion requires being kind to oneself and taking a nonjudgmental approach to one's suffering. High self-compassion is related to cognitive flexibility and low levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. In addition, social support has been found to be a moderating factor of negative life stress and promotes psychological well-being, variables that may impact injury recovery. The current pilot study examines the level of self-compassion and its relationship to level of social support of injured athletes. The two hypotheses are as follows: injured athletes will have a lower level of self-compassion in comparison to the overall athlete population and among injured athletes there will be a positive relationship between level of self-compassion and perceived social support. Through electronic distribution to Division I athletes at a Midwest university, seven injured and 31 non-injured athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale and the Multidemensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The results indicated no significant difference in level of self-compassion between injured and non-injured athletes. In addition, self-compassion and perceived social support of injured athletes was not significantly correlated, but were significantly correlated for non-injured athletes and combined injured and non-injured athletes. Although the hypotheses of this pilot study were not supported, the significant relationship between self-compassion and perceived social support found in the non-injured and combined groups support future research with injured athletes as the results were likely limited by the small sample size.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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