Myriam Tremblay MA Thesis Proposal

Title: “The Role of Masculinity on the Experience of Self-compassion Among Men Varsity Athletes”

Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Peter Crocker
Committee Members: Dr. Erica Bennett, Dr. Moss Norman, Dr. Amber Mosewich (University of Alberta)
Chair: Dr Eli Puterman

Abstract: Self-compassion is an approach to adaptive coping in sport which is used by athletes and exercisers to facilitate the management of the stressors they encounter, foster high sport achievement and sustain high levels of well-being (Mosewich, in press). Masculinity is a social construction which privileges some men and disadvantages others and the adherence to traditional masculine norms impacts how men athletes are able to manage emotions and sport-related challenges which ultimately impacts well-being (De Boise & Hearn, 2017; Heath, Brenner, Vogel, Lannin, & Strass, 2017; Lilleaas, 2007). The proposed research study seeks to explore how cultural norms surrounding masculinity shape men varsity athletes’ experiences and perceptions of self-compassion in relation to sport-related challenges. The proposed study will conduct two semi-structured interviews with eight to twelve men varsity athletes from the University of British Columbia’s elite varsity men’s teams with vignettes being used to elicit talk data in the first interview. This study will contribute to the current research knowledge on how men athletes implement and experience self-compassion as a coping strategy to manage difficulties experienced in the sporting domain. It will be one of the first qualitative studies to explore self-compassion among a men athlete sample and to incorporate how masculinity shapes such experiences with self-compassion. The following research questions will guide the proposed study: What is the men varsity athlete experience with practicing self-compassion to manage challenges? How do cultural norms surrounding masculinity shape the experience and perceptions of self-compassion among men varsity athletes? Reflexive thematic analysis will be utilized as the method of data analysis and will follow Clarke and Braun’s (2016) guidelines for thematic analysis in psychology. Findings of the proposed study could help further knowledge surrounding self-compassion and masculinity in association with sport-related challenges.