Master of Kinesiology (MKin)
Kinesiology and Physical Education
Faculty of Science
Compassion is a prosocial behaviour characterized by kindness and a non-judgmental attitude to reduce one’s suffering. Typically, it is thought of as a behaviour we express outwardly to others, but compassion can also be directed internally toward ourselves. This is known as self-compassion. The benefits of having compassion for other people have been largely studied in employment settings and everyday life behaviours. Moreover, research has shown self-compassion is also related to many positive outcomes. Compared to compassion for others, self-compassion has been studied in sport, however it is still in its infancy. Although research has demonstrated the importance of both types of compassion, these concepts are beneficial to further understand in sport settings as they may have important implications for athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore how compassion for teammates and self-compassion were related to team cohesion in athletes. In addition, sex differences were explored. 46 male and 54 female varsity athletes (Mage = 20.58) represented four sports (i.e., hockey, basketball, swimming, and cross country) and completed questionnaires at two time points approximately three weeks apart. Multiple regressions were used to determine whether compassion for teammates and self-compassion could predict team cohesion and vice versa. Compassion for teammates predicted elements of cohesion, although this was only found for male athletes. Self-compassion was not related to team cohesion. These results highlight that displaying compassion for others can influence team cohesion. Further research should seek to replicate these findings to better understand the concept of compassion in an athletic context.
Chu, Theo, "Exploring the relationship between group cohesion and compassion in varsity athletes" (2018). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2053.
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