, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 787–790 | Cite as

Protection as the Mirror Image of Psychopathology: Further Critical Notes on the Self-Compassion Scale

  • Peter MurisEmail author
  • Henry Otgaar
  • Nicola Petrocchi

Self-compassion can be defined as the tendency to be caring, warm, and understanding towards oneself when faced with personal shortcomings, problems, or failures. Kristin Neff certainly should be applauded for her seminal work on self-compassion. That is, she was the first putting this self-related construct on the scientific agenda and publishing a considerable amount of theoretical and empirical articles on this topic. From the start, Neff (2003a) has persisted in a conceptualization of self-compassion mainly drawn from writings of Buddhist teachers, postulating that the construct essentially consists of three core components. The first component is self-kindness and refers to the tendency to be kind to and understanding with oneself when confronted with personal disappointments. The second component is common humanity, which deals with recognizing that one’s failures and problems are an integral part of human life. The third and final component is mindfulness and relates to the...


Mental Health Problem Positive Component Common Humanity Negative Component Buddhist Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Albertson, E. R., Neff, K. D., & Dill-Shackleford, K. E. (2015). Self-compassion and body dissatisfaction in women: a randomized controlled trial of a brief meditation intervention. Mindfulness, 6, 444–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arimitsu, K. (2014). Development and validation of the Japanese version of the Self-Compassion Scale. Japanese Journal of Psychology, 85, 50–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Azizi, A., Mohammadkhani, P., Lotfi, S., & Bahramkhani, M. (2013). The validity and reliability of the Iranian version of the Self-Compassion Scale. Iranian Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2, 17–23.Google Scholar
  4. Castilho, P., Pinto‐Gouveia, J., & Duarte, J. (2015). Exploring self‐criticism: confirmatory factor analysis of the FSCRS in clinical and nonclinical samples. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 22, 153–164.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen, J., Yan, L., & Zhou, L. (2011). Reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Self-Compassion Scale. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 19, 734–736.Google Scholar
  6. Garcia-Campayo, J., Navarro-Gil, M., Andrés, E., Montero-Marin, J., López-Artal, L., & Marcos Piva Demarzo, M. (2014). Validation of the Spanish versions of the long (26 items) and short (12 items) forms of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 12, 4.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Holzinger, K. J., & Swineford, S. (1937). The bi-factor method. Psychometrika, 47, 41–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hupfeld, J., & Ruffieux, N. (2011). Validierung einer deutschen version der Self-Compassion Scale (SCS-D) (Validation of a German version of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS-D)). Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 40, 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lee, W. K., & Lee, K. (2010). The validation study of the Korean version of the Self-Compassion Scale with adult women in the community. Journal of the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 49, 193–200.Google Scholar
  10. Lopez, A., Sanderman, R., Smink, A., Zhang, Y., van Sonderen, E., Ranchor, A., & Schroevers, M. J. (2015). A reconsideration of the Self-Compassion Scale’s total score: self-compassion versus self-criticism. PloS One, 10, e0132940.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Lyubomirsky, S., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1995). Effects of self-focused rumination on negative thinking and interpersonal problem solving. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 176–190.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. MacBeth, A., & Gumley, A. (2012). Exploring compassion: a meta-analysis of the association between self-compassion and psychopathology. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 545–552.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Mantzios, M., Wilson, J. C., & Giannou, K. (2015). Psychometric properties of the Greek versions of the Self-Compassion and Mindful Attention and Awareness Scales. Mindfulness, 6, 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miller, A. (2008). A critique of positive psychology—or ‘the new science of happiness’. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42, 591–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Muris, P. (2016). A protective factor against mental health problems in youths? A critical note on the assessment of self-compassion. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication.
  16. Muris, P., & Petrocchi, N. (2016). Protection or vulnerability? A meta-analysis of the relations between the positive and negative components of self-compassion and psychopathology. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Advance online publication.
  17. Neff, K. D. (2003a). Self-compassion: an alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Neff, K. D. (2003b). The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Neff, K. D. (2016). The Self-Compassion Scale is a valid and theoretically coherent measure of self-compassion. Mindfulness, 7, 264–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Neff, K. D., & Faso, D. J. (2015). Self-compassion and well-being in parents of children with autism. Mindfulness, 6, 938–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Petrocchi, N., Ottaviani, C., & Couyoumdjian, A. (2014). Dimensionality of self-compassion: translation and construct validation of the self-compassion scale in an Italian sample. Journal of Mental Health, 23, 72–77.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Raes, F., Pommier, E., Neff, K. D., & Van Gucht, D. (2011). Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the self-compassion scale. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 18, 250–255.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Reise, S., Moore, T., & Haviland, M. (2010). Bifactor models and rotations: exploring the extent to which multidimensional data yield univocal scale scores. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 544–559.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Rubin, K. H., & Coplan, R. J. (2004). Paying attention to and not neglecting social withdrawal and social isolation. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50, 506–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Williams, M. J., Dalgleish, T., Karl, A., & Kuyken, W. (2014). Examining the factor structures of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Self-Compassion Scale. Psychological Assessment, 26, 407–418.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Zuroff, D. C., Igreja, I., & Mongrain, M. (1990). Dysfunctional attitudes, dependency, and self-criticism as predictors of depressive mood states: a 12-month longitudinal study. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14, 315–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Muris
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Henry Otgaar
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nicola Petrocchi
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.City University LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.John Cabot UniversityRomeItaly
  5. 5.Compassionate Mind ItaliaRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations