Women's self-compassion and exercise motivations


To gain a further understanding of the role of self-compassion in women's exercise motivations the purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between self-compassion and women's exercise motivations. Participants were 72 women exercisers between 18 and 40 years (M = 24.18, SD = 5.83). The women completed an online questionnaire that included a demographic survey, the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Self-Compassion Scale, the Self- determination Scale, the modified Drive for Muscularity Attitudes Questionnaire, the Drive for Thinness Scale, and the Body Appreciation Scale. The results showed that self-compassion was negatively correlated with introjected motivation (r= -.50, p <.05), drive for muscularity (r= -.30, p <.05), and drive for thinness (r = -.54, p <.05); and that self-compassion was positively correlated with body appreciation (r= .73, p <.05) and self-determined motives to exercise (r= .53, p <.05). Follow-up hierarchical regression analyses showed that self-compassion predicted unique variance beyond self-esteem on introjected motivation (R2 = .25, p <.05; ?R2 = .06, p <.05), drive for thinness (R2 = .29, p <.05; ?R2 = .05, p <.05), and self-determined motives to exercise (R2 = .28, p <.05; ?R2 = .05, p <.05). The current study highlights that self-compassion might play a role in the promotion of adaptive, healthy, and positive exercise motivations for women exercisers.