Levels of Self-Compassion Among Injured Division IAthletes

by Samantha Sanderson

Institution: Wright State University Professional Psychology Program
Year: 2017
Keywords: Psychology; Sports Medicine; Rehabilitation; self-compassion; college athletes; sport injury; social support
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2176595
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=wsupsych1466422489


While there are numerous health benefits that resultfrom engaging in athletics, sport participation also comes with anintrinsic risk of injury. In order to understand the injury process(i.e., injury risk factors and recovery variables), researchershave used various models to conceptualize preinjury risk factorsand postinjury response. Although personality factors, stress,coping skills, emotional response, and other factors have beenstudied, self-compassion is a relatively new construct to thewestern world that has not been examined in the injured athletepopulation. Self-compassion requires being kind to oneself andtaking a nonjudgmental approach to ones suffering. Highself-compassion is related to cognitive flexibility and low levelsof anxiety, depression, and stress. In addition, social support hasbeen found to be a moderating factor of negative life stress andpromotes psychological well-being, variables that may impact injuryrecovery. The current pilot study examines the level ofself-compassion and its relationship to level of social support ofinjured athletes. The two hypotheses are as follows: injuredathletes will have a lower level of self-compassion in comparisonto the overall athlete population and among injured athletes therewill be a positive relationship between level of self-compassionand perceived social support. Through electronic distribution toDivision I athletes at a Midwest university, seven injured and 31non-injured athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale and theMultidemensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The resultsindicated no significant difference in level of self-compassionbetween injured and non-injured athletes. In addition,self-compassion and perceived social support of injured athleteswas not significantly correlated, but were significantly correlatedfor non-injured athletes and combined injured and non-injuredathletes. Although the hypotheses of this pilot study were notsupported, the significant relationship between self-compassion andperceived social support found in the non-injured and combinedgroups support future research with injured athletes as the resultswere likely limited by the small sample size.Advisors/Committee Members: Rando, Robert A. (Committee Chair).