Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Self-compassion is a multifaceted construct meant to allow individuals to treat themselves with kindness, have a balanced perspective on their experiences, and feel connected to others (Neff, 2003a). Emotion regulation is related to higher levels of self-compassion (Diedrich et al., 2013; Vettese et al., 2011), and Neff (2003a) proposes that self-compassion can be viewed as a superior emotion regulation strategy. Self-compassion is negatively correlated with many forms of psychopathology, including anxiety (Neff, 2003b; Neff et al., 2007; Neff & McGehee, 2010). Based on prior research, it appears that self-compassion may increase the ability to regulation emotions, therefore increasing an individual’s ability to manage anxiety and other negative emotions. The present study examined the relationships between self-compassion, emotion dysregulation, anxiety, and other self-reported emotions. The results of the present study partially supported hypothesized correlations between self-compassion and variables including difficulties in emotion regulation, anxiety, and affect. Furthermore, the present study explored whether self-compassion buffers against negative emotions after imagining an embarrassing and distressing event. The results of the present study indicated that the vignette was effective in reducing positive affect, but ineffective in increasing negative affect and anxiety. Finally this study examined whether a brief self-compassion exercise changes anxiety and other negative emotions after the distressing event when compared to mindfulness and control conditions. The results of the present study found that there were no significant differences between the three conditions.
Willits, Elizabeth, "Does Self-Compassion Protect Against Emotional Dysregulation, Anxiety, and Other Negative Emotions?" (2015). USC Aiken Psychology Theses. 22.