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Does self-compassion buffer the impact of poor basic need satisfaction on organismic well-being? : A cross-sectional study on the relation between self-compassion and vitality

Busch, T. (2014) Does self-compassion buffer the impact of poor basic need satisfaction on organismic well-being? : A cross-sectional study on the relation between self-compassion and vitality.

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Abstract:In order to explore the effect of self-compassion on organismic well-being, the present study focuses on the relation between self-compassion and vitality, hypothesizing that (1) the two are positively related and that (2) self-compassion acts upon vitality by buffering against the psychological stress arising from an insufficient satisfaction of the basic needs as stated in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1991). Although the impact of self-compassion on well-being has been addressed by various studies (Ghorbani, Watson, Chen, & Norballa, 2012; Gilbert, 2005; Neely, Schallert, Mohammed, Roberts, & Chen, 2009; Neff, 2011; Neff, Kirkpatrick, & Rude, 2007; Neff, Rude, & Kirkpatrick, 2007; Shepherd & Cardon, 2009), the current study is breaking new ground in the examination of self-compassion in relation to vitality as a proxy for organismic well-being that embraces body and mind. The data of 423 respondents of an online survey conducted by the University of Twente were analyzed. Relevant diagnostic instruments are the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS-SF; Neff, 2003b), the Subjective Vitality Scale (VS; Ryan & Frederick, 1997), and the Basic Need Satisfaction in General Scale (BNSG-S; Gagné, 2003). The reliability of the instruments was found to be good to excellent. Missing cases were analyzed and subsequently removed by listwise deletion. Hypothesis one was tested by analyses of correlation and regression. Hypothesis two was tested by a moderator analysis. In support of the research hypotheses, it was found that self-compassion was strongly related to vitality and buffered the impact of poor basic need satisfaction on vitality. It is assumed that the power of self-compassion lies in the deactivation of the body’s stress reactions (Gilbert, 2005), which consequentially increases vitality and comprehensive well-being. The findings emphasize the potential benefits of self-compassion for the health care system, especially in the treatment of diseases that stress the interplay between psychological and physical factors, such as chronic pain conditions. The study presents encouraging yet preliminary findings that pave the way for future research on the short- and long-term influence of self-compassion on vitality.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66939
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