Self-compassion mediates the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and athlete burnout among adolescent squash players in South Africa
Background: Dispositional mindfulness has been found to positively impact athlete burnout. Furthermore, self- compassion has been identified as a potential mechanism of action through which mindfulness is related to lower rates of athlete burnout. However, this interaction has yet to be investigated among adolescents.
Objectives: To determine whether self-compassion mediates the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and athlete burnout among adolescent squash players in South Africa.
Methods: Competitive adolescent squash players (n=158) from two provinces in South Africa completed measures of dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion and athlete burnout. Intercorrelations were calculated between the three variables. An ordinary least squares regression analysis was performed to test the indirect effect of self-compassion on the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and the three components of athlete burnout.
Results: Both dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion were negatively related to athlete burnout, while displaying positive correlations with each other. Self-compassion was found to partially mediate the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and a sense of reduced accomplishment (b = -0.075; 95% CI [-0.037;-0.012]), as well as the association between dispositional mindfulness and sport devaluation (b = -0.056; 95% CI [-0.099;-0.022]). The relationship between dispositional mindfulness and exhaustion was, however, not mediated by self-compassion (b = -0.002; 95% CI [-0.052; 0.049]).
Conclusion: The effect of dispositional mindfulness on certain components of athlete burnout is partially mediated by self- compassion among adolescent athletes. Based on the current findings, interventions aimed at increasing mindfulness among adolescent athletes appear to be a potential avenue by which to reduce certain aspects of burnout, partially through increasing self-compassion.
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