Investigating the Construct Validity of Self-Compassion Using a Multimethod Approach
AdvisorSbarra, David A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSelf-compassion has emerged as a relatively new construct in the psychological sciences, and brought with it potential as an additional psychological dimension of health and well-being (Neff, 2003a; Zessin, Dickhaüser, & Garbade, 2015). Neff's Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003b) is the most widely-used questionnaire to assess this construct, though has been challenged on the basis of its psychometric properties (Castilho, Pinto-Gouveia, & Duarte, 2015). Ongoing research continues to refute these concerns with the scale's psychometrics (Neff, 2016). To potentially grow the empirical support of the SCS as a meaningful aspect of psychological functioning, exploration of construct validity via multimethod approaches and predictive utility is indicated. The current study investigated self-compassion of recently-separated adults (N = 137) at study entry as assessed using the SCS, which were rated from multiple sources (self and observer) and obtained from multiple sources (in-laboratory and naturalistic environment). The study followed participants over an average of five months, collecting psychological distress measures at five visits, each one month apart. I found preliminary evidence that initial levels of observer-rated self-compassion predict later self-reported psychological functioning, replicating a prior finding in the literature (Sbarra, Smith, & Mehl, 2012), and may do so over and above one's own self-rated self-compassion. Predictive models indicated meaningful effects of particular psychological covariates, such as depression, attachment style, and self-esteem, which may play a role in the relationship between self-compassion and psychological functioning. This research expands current knowledge on self-compassion as a psychological construct and its potential as a protective factor against psychological maladjustment following a major life stressor.
Degree ProgramGraduate College