The ‘selves’ in banned performance enhancement: Investigating narcissism and compassion in the context of doping

Journal article


Zhang, S. and Boardley, I. 2022. The ‘selves’ in banned performance enhancement: Investigating narcissism and compassion in the context of doping. Performance Enhancement & Health. pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2022.100243
AuthorsZhang, S. and Boardley, I.
Abstract

Intentional doping is a goal-directed behaviour influenced by a range of psychological factors, potentially including personality traits. However, to date, understanding of how the selves may influence use of banned performance enhancing substances and methods is scarce. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine two opposing self-concepts, narcissism (i.e., a willingness to construct and maintain a positive self-image) and self-compassion (i.e., action to approach and accept a negative self or related distress in a peaceful mind), in the context of doping. In a sample of 178 competitive athletes (M age = 24.44, M years of training = 7.1), we examined both grandiose and vulnerable aspects of narcissism, self-compassion, fears of compassion, and their interactions in relation to doping moral disengagement, doping self-regulatory efficacy, and doping willingness. We found athletes high in either grandiose, vulnerable, or both aspects of narcissism were at risk for intentional doping, whereas a low-low combination was the lowest in such risk. High self-compassion mitigated the relationships between grandiose narcissism and doping moral disengagement and between vulnerable narcissism and doping willingness, regardless of whether participants were fearful of feelings of self-compassion. However, self-compassion was associated with higher doping willingness for individuals high in vulnerable narcissism when fear of compassion expressed by others was high but doping willingness was lower in the same group when fear of compassion from others was low. These findings offer new insights into narcissism-related doping risks and highlight the potential practical benefits of compassion-focused interventions to reduce doping risks.

KeywordsGrandiosity; vulnerability; self-compassion; fears of compassion; personality; doping
Year2022
JournalPerformance Enhancement & Health
Journal citationpp. 1-10
PublisherElsevier
ISSN2211-2669
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2022.100243
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221126692200041X?via%3Dihub
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Dec 2022
Deposited20 Jan 2023
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