, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 161–175 | Cite as

The Development and Validation of the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS): an Assessment of Practices that Support Positive Embodiment

  • Catherine P. Cook-Cottone
  • Wendy M. Guyker


This study details the development and validation of a measure of mindful self-care, the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS). Based on theory and emerging empirical work, the MSCS items were developed to align with a set of actionable practices that promote positive embodiment and well-being. The extant literature on self-care was reviewed and a set of items developed. Following expert review, the retained items were factor analyzed (N = 448, aged 18–71, 79.7% female, 90.0% Caucasian) resulting in six factors: physical care, supportive relationships, mindful awareness, self-compassion and purpose, mindful relaxation, and supportive structure. Overall, the MSCS was significantly and positively correlated with body esteem and negatively correlated with eating disorder risk. Confirmatory factor analyses were applied to a second independent sample (N = 452, aged 18–78, 69.7% female, 70.8% Caucasian) providing cross-validation of the six-dimensional structure of the MSCS. Internal consistency was upheld for the total scale and subscales. Findings and implications for future research follow along with a review of the limitations of this study.


Mindfulness Self-care Eating disorder Positive embodiment Body esteem Mindful self-care 


Author’s Contributions

CC completed the initial conceptual and theoretical work, created the first batch of items, conducted the expert review, and constructed the set of items to be analyzed. CC and WG worked to collect data. WG was the primary statistician on the paper. CC and WG collaborated to interpret the EFA and CFA results and integrate pervious research with findings. CC and WG contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was not funded

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at Buffalo, State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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