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I have been exploring the idea of self-compassion through reading books on Eastern Religion, (Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, etc.) analyzing professional research articles, and practicing it in my daily life. I came across one study that was conducted which I feel has great insight into self-compassion. This study will be broken down into several posts because of the amount of information that is available! THIS IS PART V


Laura K. Barnard and John F. Curry (Duke University)

Self-Compassion and Affect:

1)  “Low self-compassion is associated with greater negative affect and less positive affect in the face of real, imagined, and remembered events.”

2)  Raising self-compassion will “reduce negative affect, shame, and emotional exhaustion.”

3)  Self-compassion is “negatively correlated with anxiety and depression”- The more self-compassion you have the less anxiety and depression you will experience.

4)  “Depression was significantly, positively associated with self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification, and was significantly, negatively associated with self-kindness, mindfulness, and in one study with common humanity.”- In other words, depression is often accompanied by self-judgement, isolation, over-identification, low self-kindness, low mindfulness, and a low sense of a connection with the other humans.)

5) “Self-compassion has been shown to be uniquely associated with wellbeing” and wellbeing has been defined as “having a sense of purpose in life, a sense of self-mastery, low perceived stress, low negative affect, and high satisfaction with life.”

6) In several studies, “after a perceived failure…self-compassion was correlated with positive reinterpretation and with acceptance.”

7) It is hypothesized “that the mindfulness component of self-compassion facilitates emotional intelligence” and it was found that people who are high in self-compassion are “less likely to suppress their emotions following a failure and more likely to use emotion approach coping strategies such as acceptance and reinterpretation.” 

Self-Compassion and Cognitive Patterns:

1) Self-compassion has been found to reduce rumination, thought suppression, and avoidance strategies such as denial or mental disengagement.

2) Avoidance has proven to be a barrier to overcoming or reducing PTSD symptoms: Self-compassion reduces this avoidance 

Self-Compassion and Achievement or Perfomance

1) “self-compassion is also related to goals, motivation, and achievement.”

2) Student’s with low-levels of self-compassion report significantly more procrastination

3) Using the self-report Social Connectedness Scale, several studies have linked a positive correlation between self-compassion and a related sense of connectedness. It was found that “individuals who are higher in self-compassion tended to use more first person plural pronouns (e.g., we, our, us) and fewer first person singular pronouns (e.g., me, mine, I) when writing about their own weaknesses. In other words, individuals with higher self-compassion tended to discuss their weaknesses with social references to others demonstrating a more interconnected and less separate view of the self.”

4) “Social connectedness and the use of first person plural pronouns have been found to be associated with lower depression scores.”

5) Self-compassion has been found “to be positively correlated to agreeableness.” Agreeableness is comprised of 6 subcomponents which are ” trust, compliance, straightforwardness, altruism, modesty, and tender-mindedness.” 

Self-Compassion and Other Correlates

Self-compassion has also been found to be positively correlated with:

1) “reflective and affective wisdom (ability to see reality as it is and develop insight),”

2) “personal growth initiative (making changes needed for a fulfilling life),”

3) “conscientiousness,”

4) “curiosity”, and

5) the “ability to separate one’s identity and worth from one’s job performance


Barnard, L. K. & Curry, J. F. (2011). Self-Compassion: Conceptualizations, correlates, & interventions. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 289-303.



  1. Cheryl Boudreau
    June 5, 2012



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