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A Pilot Study of the 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion Training Program in a Chinese Community Sample


The aim of this uncontrolled pilot study was to explore the potential of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program for reducing psychological distress and increasing compassion in a Chinese community sample. Self-report data on measures of compassion and psychological distress were collected at pre-test (N = 49), post-test (N = 44), and 3-month follow-up (N = 35) among a convenience sample of Chinese women (mean age = 36.6 years). Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs), and maladaptive perfectionism was investigated as a potential moderator of the effects of time on outcomes. Significant main effects of time were observed for mean scores on self-compassion, compassion for others, fears of self-compassion, rumination, depression, anxiety, and stress, and these changes were maintained at follow-up. These relationships were not moderated by perfectionism. Effect size calculations indicated large effect sizes for all outcomes, indicating that the MSC program holds promise for increasing compassion and reducing psychological distress among Chinese females. Further research is required to demonstrate the efficacy of this program relative to control conditions, using more representative samples.

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Authors and Affiliations



AFJ collaborated with the design of the study, analyzed the data, and wrote the paper; QX collaborated with the design of the study and helped analyze the data; XH collaborated with the design and execution of the study; XM collaborated with the design of the study; and XG designed and executed the study.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Amy Finlay-Jones.

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Conflicts of Interest

Authors B and C are employees of the Beijing Hailan Peer Education and Consultation Company which provided the Mindful Self-Compassion training described in the current study. Author E is the founder of the Beijing Hailan Peer Education and Consultation Company. Authors A and D declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval for this study was granted by Renmin University, Beijing, China. 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.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Finlay-Jones, A., Xie, Q., Huang, X. et al. A Pilot Study of the 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion Training Program in a Chinese Community Sample. Mindfulness 9, 993–1002 (2018).

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  • Self-compassion
  • Intervention
  • Cross-cultural
  • Mindfulness, mindful self-compassion