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15-09-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2017

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2017

Age and Gender Differences in the Associations of Self-Compassion and Emotional Well-being in A Large Adolescent Sample

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Karen Bluth, Rebecca A. Campo, William S. Futch, Susan A. Gaylord

Abstract

Adolescence is a challenging developmental period marked with declines in emotional well-being; however, self-compassion has been suggested as a protective factor. This cross-sectional survey study (N = 765, grades 7th to 12th; 53 % female; 4 % Hispanic ethnicity; 64 % White and 21 % Black) examined whether adolescents’ self-compassion differed by age and gender, and secondly, whether its associations with emotional well-being (perceived stress, life satisfaction, distress intolerance, depressive symptoms, and anxiety) also differed by age and gender. The findings indicated that older females had the lowest self-compassion levels compared to younger females or all-age males. Self-compassion was associated with all emotional well-being measures, and gender and/or age moderated the associations with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Among older adolescents, self-compassion had a greater protective effect on anxiety for boys than for girls. Additionally, older adolescents with low and average self-compassion had greater levels of depressive symptoms than those with high self-compassion. These results may inform for whom and at what age self-compassion interventions may be implemented to protect adolescents from further declines in emotional well-being.

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