University of Twente Student Theses


Validating a newly developed scale measuring self-compassion supported by technology with a university student sample

Tönjes, S. (2021) Validating a newly developed scale measuring self-compassion supported by technology with a university student sample.

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Abstract:Technologies play bigger roles in our daily lives but also our mental health system. Additionally, self-compassion is a crucial factor in buffering the reactivity to stress and is related to lower measures of depression and anxiety. Measurement tools are needed to assess whether technologies could indeed support self-compassion. This is necessary to detect technologies that do not support self-compassion and adapt them accordingly to assist the mental health of patients and technology users. To fill the gap of measurement tools, this study aimed at developing and validating a scale to measure self-compassion supported by technology. Through a vignette-based survey (N=69), participants from a student population filled in a questionnaire after each of three vignettes that depicted interactions with different kinds of technologies, in which participants were supposed to imagine themselves. The technologies were a mobile phone health app, a smartwatch, and a chatbot. Scale factors were extracted and tested for their validity and item reliability. Convergent validity was established through factor loadings of above .6. Cronbach's alphas confirmed reliability with values exceeding .80 for all three factors. Correlation coefficients between factors were sufficiently small (<.7) to support that factors were not too related and thus predictive validity was established. In conclusion, a valid and reliable tool has been developed to measure self-compassion as supported by technology. This has implications for users of technology and mental health care services, as it can be understood whether technologies can support self-compassion. Thus, actions can be taken to adapt technologies to allow for heightened self-compassion in everyday encounters with technology.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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