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15.03.2016 | Psychological Exploration | Ausgabe 6/2016

Journal of Religion and Health 6/2016

The Self-Compassion Scale is Not Validated in a Buddhist Sample

Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 6/2016
Xianglong Zeng, Jun Wei, Tian PS Oei, Xiangping Liu


The concept of self-compassion originated from Buddhism, but very little is known about the utility and functions of this concept among Buddhists. Four hundred and eleven individuals (179 Buddhists and 232 non-Buddhists) completed the survey packages using the self-compassion scale (SCS; Neff in Self Identity 2(3):223–250, 2003a. doi:10.​1080/​15298860309027). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the original six dimensions of the SCS were not replicated by both samples, and further analysis of the intra-correlations within dimensions of SCS and relationships between SCS and other variables showed unexpected results specific to Buddhists. Among Buddhists, the dimensions of self-kindness and common humanity neither showed negative correlations with their opposite dimensions nor were associated with better emotional outcomes. In addition, these two dimensions were not predicted by the regular practice of loving-kindness meditation. This study argued that the ideas of self-compassion reflected in the SCS are theoretically different from the ideas of Buddhism, and further implications for measuring and clinically applying self-compassion were discussed.

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