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26-11-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 4/2021

Mindfulness 4/2021

Does Self-Compassion Moderate the Cross-Sectional Association Between Life Stress and Depressive Symptoms?

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 4/2021
Auteurs:
Julia M. Salinger, Mark A. Whisman
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-020-01554-9.
Portions of these findings were presented at the 2020 annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Virtual Convention.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

The central aims of the present study were to evaluate bivariate and multivariate associations between components of self-compassion and depressive symptoms, and to investigate the degree to which self-compassion and its components buffer the association between life stress and depressive symptoms.

Methods

In a sample of female undergraduate students, linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) total and subscale scores as predictors of depressive symptoms (n = 218), and the total and subscale scores as moderators of the cross-sectional association between negative life events and depressive symptoms (n = 216).

Results

The SCS total and subscale scores, coded such that higher scores indicated higher self-compassion, were all significantly and negatively associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). When depressive symptoms were simultaneously regressed on all SCS subscales, high correlations among subscales limited our ability to interpret parameter estimates. A post hoc analysis was therefore conducted in which depressive symptoms were regressed on composites of positive (self-compassion) and negative (uncompassionate behavior) subscales of the SCS. Results indicated that only uncompassionate behavior was significantly associated with unique variance in depressive symptoms. Neither the SCS total score nor any of the subscale scores significantly moderated the association between negative life events and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Self-compassion, particularly uncompassionate behavior, is associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms, irrespective of the experience of negative life events. However, self-compassion does not buffer the positive cross-sectional association of negative life events with depressive symptoms.

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