Research on self-compassion in adults and adolescents has consistently shown positive associations of self-compassion to mindfulness, psychological and physical well-being, self-esteem, and compassion towards others. Yet, self-compassion in children has not been examined. The present study was conducted to explore the reliability and validity of the Self-Compassion Scale for Children (SCS-C). A sample of 406 children, ages 8 to 12, completed the SCS-C and measures of mindfulness, self-concept, well-being and psychological adjustment, empathic-related responding, and prosocial goals. Results indicated a two-factor structure for the SCS-C with negatively-worded items and positively-worded items forming two discrete subscales, each with acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = .81–.83). Children’s scores on the positive and negative self-compassion subscales were significantly related to most of the self-reported measures in the expected directions. These findings provide insight into the factor structure of the SCS-C and are consistent with previous research on the Self-Compassion Scale with adult and adolescent populations. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the two-factor structure of the SCS-C and its relevance for research and applications.
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Because our scale was adapted from the SCS-SF, which only contained two items from each of the original six subscales, we were not able to test the six-factor model of the original SCS. At least three items are required to test the factor structure of a subscale.
Omega hierarchical is the sum of the factor loadings squared, divided by the variance of the scaled scores.
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This study was funded by the University of British Columbia’s Hampton Research Fund and the Mind and Life Institute’s Francisco Varela Award.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Sutton, E., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Wu, A.D. et al. Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of the Self-Compassion Scale Short Form Adapted for Children Ages 8–12. Child Ind Res 11, 1217–1236 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9470-y