Self-compassion is a multi-dimensional construct; however, little is known about the multi-dimensionality because a composite self-compassion score is typically used. The purpose of this study was to explore profiles of the self-compassion dimensions using latent profile analysis.
Three healthy, independent samples completed assessments of self-compassion and psychological inflexibility (sample 1 N = 419), perceived stress (sample 2 N = 384), or perceived stress, anxiety, and depression (sample 3 N = 509).
Similar profile patterns emerged across three independent samples. Profile differences in composite self-compassion revealed different underlying dimensional patterns that resulted in similar composite self-compassion scores. In addition, some profiles with different composite scores had similar levels of psychological inflexibility or perceived stress.
Although there is general support for the use of a composite score representing the relative balance of self-compassion, limitations to representing self-compassion with a single score are highlighted. Key limitations are clarity of what a composite score captures, specific mechanisms underlying the construct, and targeted intervention implications.