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Research on Self-compassion

Research on Self-compassion. Kristin Neff, PhD University of Texas at Austin. The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) Tried to represent the main components of self-compassion in scale. Sample Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) Items

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Research on Self-compassion

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  1. Research on Self-compassion Kristin Neff, PhD University of Texas at Austin

  2. The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) • Tried to represent the main components of self-compassion in scale

  3. Sample Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) Items Self-Kindness Subscale: I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don't like. Self-Judgment Subscale: I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies. Common Humanity Subscale: I try to see my failings as part of the human condition. Isolation Subscale: When I fail at something that's important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure. Mindfulness Subscale: When I'm feeling down I try to approach my feelings with curiosity and openness. Over-identified Subscale: When something upsets me I get carried away with my feelings.

  4. Self-Compassion Linked to Well-being Greater: life satisfaction, social connectedness, autonomy, resilient coping, personal growth, reflective and affective wisdom, curiosity and exploration, happiness, optimism Less: anxiety, depression, self-criticism, neuroticism, rumination, thought suppression, and perfectionism Populations studied: Ages14 – 83 United States, Netherlands, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey

  5. Self-compassion and anxiety • Several studies show that self-compassion provides a very strong buffer again self-evaluative anxiety • At its core anxiety stems from fear of being excluded from the social group • Self-compassion provides feelings of safety, acceptance and interconnectedness

  6. Self-compassion and body image • Concerns with thinness often driven by the need for high self-esteem • Cultural standards of thinness becoming more extreme for females • Most females are unhappy with their body, want to be thinner, are currently on a diet • Self-compassion can allow for acceptance of one’s own body, of personal imperfection • Also provides motivation for change if diet and exercise are needed – health rather than self-worth

  7. Research on self-compassion and body image • Self-compassion is associated with health behaviors among women • Linked to intrinsic motivation to exercise, less focus on ego-concerns • Greater comfort with their bodies, less concerned with social evaluation • Self-compassion reduces the urge to overeat among those who have “blown” their diet

  8. Group differences in self-compassion • Women tend to have less self-compassion than men • Mainly because are more self-critical and tend to be more negative • Women tend to be kinder to others than to self • Women are just as high in their feelings of common humanity, a strength that can be built upon

  9. Group differences in self-compassion • Practicing Buddhists have higher levels of self-compassion than the general population • Means that self-compassion is a skill that can be practiced

  10. Group differences in self-compassion • In a cross-cultural study, Thais had highest levels of self-compassion, Taiwanese the lowest, Americans were in-between • Means that Asians should not be stereotyped • In all three cultures, self-compassion strongly linked to psychological well-being

  11. Self-compassion in relationships • Research suggests that self-compassion can greatly enhance relationship interactions • Examined how self-compassion levels related to reports by partners of relationship behavior • Self-compassionate partners were described as more caring, intimate, accepting, and autonomy granting • Self-compassionate partners were described as being less detached, controlling, hostile, and aggressive • People with more self-compassion had better relationships

  12. Importance of self-compassion for care-givers Research shows that self-compassion is associated with less burnout and compassion fatigue Self-compassion provides the emotional resources needed to nurture others By acknowledging how difficult care-giving can be, reduces anger and resentment By opening our hearts to human imperfection, can accept others as they are

  13. Self-compassion in adolescence • Main task of adolescence is identity formation • Highly concerned with evaluating self-worth (especially in comparison with peers) • Self-compassionate teens have much lower levels of depression and anxiety, greater connectedness • Self-compassion levels predicted by maternal criticism, family conflict, attachment style • Self-compassion may be thought of as an internalized form of relating that is partly modeled from parents

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