Self compassion research

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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 : Im 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: Ages 14 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 ones 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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