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The flows of compassion in adolescents as measured by the compassionate engagement and action scales

Abstract

The development of self-report instruments assessing the different facets of compassion adapted for different age groups is crucial for research and clinical practice. This study examined the factor structure and psychometric properties of the adaptation to adolescents of the Compassionate Engagement and Action Scales (CEAS-A) in a sample of 674 Portuguese adolescents. Confirmatory factor analyses showed that the factor structure of the CEAS-A was similar to the one found in the adults’ version, with higher-order factor models encompassing two first/s-order factors in each scale (Engagement and Actions). The CEAS-A revealed good construct validity, reliability, and temporal stability. Gender differences were found in Self-compassion and Compassion for Other scales. Path analysis results indicated that self-criticism had a direct negative impact on adolescents’ life satisfaction, whereas the impact of self-reassurance on life satisfaction was partially mediated by self-compassion and compassion from others. The CEAS-A is the first self-report instrument that allows for the assessment of the three different flows of compassion in adolescents and may be an important and useful tool for research and clinical practice.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all participants for their cooperation.

Authors ‘Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by MC, MM, CR, and PG. The first draft of the manuscript was written by MC, MM, and AG and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Marina Cunha.

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Approval was obtained from the ethics committee of the relevant authorities (General Direction of Education, n. ° 0082000020), and the education institutions’ boards.

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The participants’ parents or legal guardians and adolescent participants also provided their informed consent. The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Cunha, M., Galhardo, A., Gilbert, P. et al. The flows of compassion in adolescents as measured by the compassionate engagement and action scales. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02097-5

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Keywords

  • Compassion flows
  • Adolescents
  • Assessment
  • Factor structure
  • Mediator effect