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Self-compassion mindsets: The components of the self-compassion scale operate as a balanced system within individuals

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Self-compassion is theorised to represent a synergistic system of interplay between self-kindness, self-judgement, common humanity, isolation, mindfulness, and overidentification. This study evaluated this proposition by identifying how the six components tend to interact within individuals to form self-compassion mindsets. Australian adults (N = 353; Mage = 41.54; 50.1% male) completed a web-based survey that included the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Latent Profile Analysis of the six SCS subscale variables identified three self-compassion mindsets in the sample that reflected incremental increases in total self-compassion: Uncompassionate Self-Responding, Moderately Self-Compassionate, and Highly Self-Compassionate. A second LPA in a student sample validated the three-mindset solution. The highly self-compassionate mindset was over-represented by male, older, retired, and highly educated individuals and the uncompassionate self-responding profile was over-represented by females and students. Partial correlations revealed that the predictive strength of each self-compassion component on psychological well-being and emotion regulation differed across mindsets. Results indicate that the positive and negative self-compassion components operate in unison, and that vulnerable individuals may benefit most from training programs that focus on increasing self-kindness to improve psychological well-being or on decreasing overidentification to improve emotion regulation.

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  1. Additional correlational analyses were also conducted. The online supplement reports zero-order bivariate correlations between the self-compassion components and the outcome variables across profiles, and zero-order and partial correlations for the whole sample.


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Correspondence to Wendy J. Phillips.

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All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of New England's human research ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. The main SPSS dataset generated and analysed during the current study may be downloaded from

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Phillips, W.J. Self-compassion mindsets: The components of the self-compassion scale operate as a balanced system within individuals. Curr Psychol 40, 5040–5053 (2021).

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