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Effects of a brief self-compassion exercise on positive and negative affect in individuals with a personality disorder

Dalmühle, Nike Lucia (2018) Effects of a brief self-compassion exercise on positive and negative affect in individuals with a personality disorder.

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Abstract:Introduction: Individuals with a personality disorder are often confronted with negative affect and self-criticism, which are major risk factors for self-harming behavior and poorer treatment outcomes. Research indicates that enhancing self-compassion could reduce self-criticism and negative affect and could increase positive affect. As only few studies focus on individuals with a personality disorder, this research is aimed at investigating the immediate effects of a brief selfcompassion exercise, compared to a neutral exercise, on positive and negative affect in individuals with a personality disorder. Moreover, it is investigated whether self-criticism moderates the relationship between the self-compassion exercise and affect. Methods: The study was conducted as a cross-over experiment. Twenty-four participants, all diagnosed with a personality disorder, were equally distributed among two groups. Both groups took part in a tenminute self-compassion group exercise and in a neutral exercise, in reverse order. The study included different assessment time points. Baseline levels of self-criticism were measured by the Forms of Self-criticizing/attacking and Self-reassuring Scale (FSCRS). Positive and negative affect was measured in a direct way with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and in an indirect way with the Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test (IPANAT). In order to analyze the data, multiple t-tests and moderation analyses were conducted. Results: The results showed that participants reported significantly lower levels of negative affect measured indirectly (IPANAT) after the self-compassion exercise compared to neutral exercise; d = .46, 95% CI [-1.14, -.05], p = .033. Apart from that, there were no significant effects of the selfcompassion exercise on positive or negative affect in the individuals, relative to the neutral exercise. Furthermore, the effects of the self-compassion exercise on positive and negative affect were not moderated by self-criticism. Conclusion: The current study revealed no effects of the self-compassion exercise, compared to the neutral exercise, on positive affect and mixed findings for negative affect. Further research on the effectiveness of other forms and durations of selfcompassion exercises for individuals with a personality disorder is recommended.
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/76418
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