University of Twente Student Theses


Identifying Types of Self-Kindness and Exploring their Potential to Increase Mental Well-being A qualitative diary study

Huxoll, M.S. (2019) Identifying Types of Self-Kindness and Exploring their Potential to Increase Mental Well-being A qualitative diary study.

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Abstract:Background. High mental well-being encompasses psychological and social function- ing, life satisfaction and the absence of psychopathology. Acts of kindness interventions have been found to increase well-being. However, research on the effectiveness of practising self- kindness in order to increase well-being is barely existent. The present study therefore invest- igated the potential of performing different self-kindness activities to promote mental well- being, by identifying different types of self-kindness behaviours and associate these beha- viours with well-being. Methods. In total 85 participants took part in a 6-week self-kindness intervention, wherein they performed five acts of self-kindness on one day per week. Participants were drawn from a nationwide sample in the Netherlands, predominantly higher educated, female and on the average M = 47.91 years (SD = 9.54) old. They additionally filled in online diaries about the acts of self-kindness they had performed, which were qualitatively analysed using content analysis. The identified categories were correlated with mental well-being. Results. Eleven different types of behaviours were identified: Self-indulgence, Pursuit of meaningful goals, Indulging with foods/drinks, Idleness, Material Goods, Wellness, Mind- fulness, Positive relationships, Active leisure, Physical activity, Flow activities and Organize duties. Performing self-kindness activities led to significantly higher mental well-being within this condition over time. Specifically ‘flow activities’ were significantly correlated with in- creases in mental well-being. Conclusion. In general, self-kindness seems to bear the potential to increase mental well-being. It seems that in order to promote well-being a balance of simple, passive (hedon- ic) actions and more complex, active (eudaimonic) actions must be established. However, as SELF-KINDNESS AND MENTAL WELL-BEING 4 the present study is the first to qualitatively analyse self-kindness, the results should be inter- preted with caution. Confirmatory research regarding the present results will be needed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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