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08-02-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 7/2019

Mindfulness 7/2019

Psychometric Properties of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) in an African American Clinical Sample

Mindfulness > Uitgave 7/2019
Huaiyu Zhang, Lu Dong, Natalie N. Watson-Singleton, Nicholas Tarantino, Erika R. Carr, Larisa V. Niles-Carnes, Bobbi Patterson, Nadine J. Kaslow
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Huaiyu Zhang, Lu Dong, and Natalie N. Watson-Singleton contributed equally to the manuscript and share first-author credit.

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Self-compassion has been recognized as a protective factor against adverse mental health outcomes. Recently, efforts have been taken to investigate the psychometric properties of a widely used measure of self-compassion, the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). It is vital that psychometric studies include racially/ethnically diverse participants to ensure the SCS’s validity and utility among these samples.


The current study evaluated the psychometric properties of the SCS in a sample of 248 low-income African American individuals with a recent suicide attempt. Using confirmatory factor analyses, the following factor structure models of the SCS were tested: one-factor, two-factor, six-factor correlated, higher order, bifactor, and two-bifactor.


Although our confirmatory factor analyses supported model fit for three of these models (two-factor, two-bifactor, six-factor correlated), the six-factor correlated model was most consistent with theoretical and practical applications of the SCS in this specific demographic and clinical sample. The SCS also demonstrated good internal consistency, as well as strong convergent validity with measures of suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, self-criticism, and mindfulness.


These results suggest that the SCS is a psychometrically sound tool for assessing the construct of self-compassion among a low-income, clinical African American sample.

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