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Self-compassion as a fundamental deterrent to using performance enhancing drugs / Nikos Chatzisarantis and Martin Hagger

Hagger, Martin | Chatzisarantis, Nikos

Edited by Curtin University. Perth - 2018

Previous research that aimed to identify psychosocial antecedents of intentions to use performance enhancing drugs (PED) showed that intentions to use PED can be predicted by at least 18 psychosocial factors. A limitation of this area of research is that it resulted in the development of complex models that are difficult to implement in real-life settings. The objective of the current project was to test whether self-compassion, the tendency to be kind to oneself, is a fundamental deterrent to using PED that predicts some of the key psychosocial determinants of intentions to use PED such as attitudes, subjective norms, perceptions of control, moral disengagement and negative anticipatory affect. In a cross-sectional study that aimed to predict intentions to use PED among a sample of elite athletes, processes analysis showed that self-compassion predicted intentions to use PED indirectly via moral disengagement and attitudes toward PED. However, the process analysis provided little support for subjective norms, descriptive norms, perceptions of control or anticipatory affect as explanations of self-compassion effects. The implication of these findings is that practitioners and policymakers may be able to deter athletes from using PED through techniques and practises that are specifically designed to enhance experiences of self-compassion.

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