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An examination of the psychometric properties of the Self-Compassion Scale – Short Form among a help-seeking clinical sample

3 May 2013


In recent years, interest in the use of mindfulness interventions in clinical psychology has grown exponentially. Self-compassion is an integral aspect of mindfulness practice and has become a burgeoning area of research. The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003a) was developed to make this research possible. Using the SCS, self-compassion has been shown to be related to psychological well-being and interventions are now being created to increase self-compassion. However, the SCS has primarily been used with undergraduate samples and the use of the SCS with clinical populations has been largely unaddressed in the research. Given the apparent benefits of high self-compassion, it is important that the SCS be validated with clinical populations, particularly if this population is going to be a target for intervention. The current study sought to address this issue by collecting normative data for the SCS among a help-seeking clinical sample. Due to small sample size, analyses were completed using only items found on Self-Compassion Scale – Short-Form (Raes, Pommier, Neff, & Van Gucht, 2011). It was found that self-compassion scores were significantly lower in the present sample compared to a previous non-clinical sample. Significant correlations were found between self-compassion and measures of self-esteem, anxiety, and stress, replicating previous findings. Self-compassion was not significantly correlated with satisfaction with life or depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, confirmatory factor analysis was not interpretable due to small sample size. Overall, the results provide some initial support that the SCS is an appropriate measure for help-seeking clinical populations. Additional research with this population is warranted.


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