Demonstrating mood repair with a situation-based measure of self-compassion and self-criticism

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Abstract

Objectives.

The clinical significance of self-criticism and self-compassion has prompted the development of questionnaires assessing these constructs. However, there is a lack of measures assessing their interaction within specific contexts and potential involvement in mood repair processes.

Design.

To rectify this, we developed the Self-Compassion and Self-Criticism Scales (SCCS), based on responses to specific scenarios, and examined its psychometric properties in an online survey and an experimental situation.

Method.

In study 1, standard psychometric procedures were used to investigate the reliability and validity of the SCCS. In study 2, an experimental challenge involving a difficult language task was used to test its sensitivity to change.

Results.

In study 1, exploratory factor analysis (n = 413) showed a clear two-factor structure of the SCCS denoting two orthogonal scales, with high internal validity (α ≥ .87). Correlations between the SCCS and existing measures also demonstrated appropriate convergent validity. Study 2 (n = 90) provided preliminary evidence that the SCCS can detect changes in self-appraisals. Participants receiving no performance feedback from the challenge task showed reduced state self-criticism and increased state self-compassion, demonstrating mood repair.

Conclusions.

The SCCS has promise as a situational measure of self-compassion and self-criticism.

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