Negative cognitive style as a mediator between self-compassion and hopelessness depression
Lihua Zhou (Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University and Hengyang Normal University), Jian Chen (Hunan Normal University), Xiaoqun Liu (Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University), Dali Lu (Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University), Linyan Su (Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University), 2013, 41(9), 1511–1518

I’ve been interested to see recent research into this newly defined trait, self-compassion (Neff, 2003). It encompasses showing kindness to oneself when experiencing suffering and having an awareness of one’s experience and mistakes without judging harshly or indulging in self-pity. Developing this quality may lead to increased positive attitudes when dealing with hardship and to reduced self-criticism or anxiety. There seems to be real potential for self-compassion training to help students in school performance or adults in the workplace or at home.

This quality has been a feature in a number of recent research papers published in SBP Journal. I enjoyed reading the results of this paper by Zhou and colleagues (2013), who moved forward research in the area with a mediation analysis of self-compassion, hopelessness depression, and negative cognitive style. They found an expected reduction in depression in the presence of higher self-compassion. The key finding of interest, however, was that self-compassion led directly to a less negative cognitive style, which then resulted in lower depression levels. This result highlights the potential benefits of self-compassion development.

Wherever we are in the world, good mental health and well-being are highly sought after and prized. And self-compassion could be a key in unlocking them, increasing our ability to deal kindly with ourselves, and view ourselves reasonably and as part of common humankind. Read more on self-compassion or mindfulness by searching the archives on our website.

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal