Investigating Moderators of Compassion Meditation Training in a Community Sample
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There is increasing interest in third-wave interventions that incorporate contemplative practices. Mindfulness and compassion meditation training programs have shown great promise. In the spirit of precision health, a refined understanding of participant features that identify who will and will not benefit from specific types of contemplative training is an important endeavor. Here, we examined three domains of baseline moderators (demographic, affect, and well-being variables) of the effect of compassion cultivation training (CCT) on improvements in three forms of fear of compassion (for self, for others, and being the recipient of compassion from others) and also on self-compassion. Results indicate that, at baseline, greater frequency of suppression of emotion expression and perceived stress, as well as lesser cognitive reappraisal self-efficacy and mindfulness skills, significantly moderated the effect of CCT (vs. a wait list control group) on reducing fear of compassion for self. We did not identify significant moderators of CCT effects on fear of compassion for others and being the recipient of compassion from others, or self-compassion. Pinpointing individual participant features that predict CCT-related increases in compassion will help optimize treatment matching and sequencing of treatment programs.
KeywordsModerators Prediction Compassion Meditation Training Self-compassion Mindfulness
PG co-designed the study, conducted the data analyses, and co-wrote the manuscript. HJ co-designed the study, executed the study, and co-wrote the manuscript. Both authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.
This research was supported by a Fetzer grant awarded to Philippe Goldin as well as funding provided from Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The research study was approved by the ethics committee at Stanford University, prior to participant recruitment.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants prior to their inclusion in the study.
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