Article

Don't be so hard on yourself! Changes in self-compassion during the first year of university are associated with changes in well-being

Citation

Gunnell K, Mosewich A, McEwen C, Eklund R & Crocker PRE (2017) Don't be so hard on yourself! Changes in self-compassion during the first year of university are associated with changes in well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 107, pp. 43-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.11.032

Abstract
Introduction  Well-being declines during the first year of university. We examined if change in self-compassion was indirectly related to change in well-being through change in psychological need satisfaction during the first year of university.  Methods  First year university students (N=189, 77.2% female) completed self-report questionnaires at the beginning of the first semester and approximately five months later. Path analysis and bootstrapping procedures were used to examine residualized change scores.  Results  Change in self-compassion was positively related to (ps<0.05) change in psychological need satisfaction (β=0.49) and negatively related to change in negative affect (β=−0.24). Change in psychological need satisfaction was positively associated (ps<0.05) with change in vitality (β=0.58) and change in positive affect (β=0.52) and negatively associated with change in negative affect (β=−0.29). Change in self-compassion was indirectly related to change in vitality (b=0.56, 95% bootstrapped bias corrected confidence interval (BcCI)[0.38, 0.77]), positive affect (b=0.41, 95%BcCI [0.27, 0.58]), and negative affect (b=−0.26, 95%BcCI[−0.41, −0.13]) through change in psychological need satisfaction.  Conclusions  During the first year of university, change in self-compassion was associated with change in well-being because self-compassion enhanced psychological need satisfaction. Results highlight the potential of enhancing self-compassion during first year university to help mitigate student declines in well-being.

Keywords
Self-compassion; Self-determination theory; Mental health; Longitudinal; College; Post-secondary; Well-being

Journal
Personality and Individual Differences: Volume 107

StatusPublished
Publication date01/03/2017
Publication date online17/11/2016
Date accepted by journal13/11/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24577
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0191-8869