A Qualitative Exploration of the Connections Among Quality of Relationships with Parent(s), Self-Compassion, and Academic Motivation in Young Adults
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Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between the quality of parent-child relationships and children’s capacity for self-compassion. In turn, children’s self-compassion has been linked to motivation for achieving academic success. However, research has not explored the connections among the quality of parent-child relationships, young people’s capacity for self-compassion, and young people’s academic motivation. This qualitative research study fills an important gap in the literature by holistically exploring the self-perceived connections among these three constructs among university students. This study included nine undergraduate students attending Brock University (across several disciplines and years). Participants completed a demographic section along with a self-compassion survey and a semi-structured interview. Findings suggest some participants perceived a connection between positive relationships with parents and high self-compassion and academic motivation when their parents extended compassion to them in difficult situations. Interestingly, some who did not perceive their parents as compassionate and supportive still reported having high self-compassion and being very motivated to achieve academic success. Findings can inform clinical practices that support young adults and university students as they strive to navigate the transition to university life and excel academically.