There is increasing evidence of the effectiveness of self-compassion in promoting psychological well-being. However, there are limited validated tools to assess self-compassion among youths, especially in China. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Self-Compassion Scale for Youth (SCS-Y).
A total of 1298 adolescents completed the SCS-Y and questionnaires on mental health outcomes such as psychological resilience, well-being, interpersonal competence, anxiety, and depression. Psychometric properties of the SCS-Y were investigated by structural, concurrent, and incremental validity analyses, as well as reliability analyses. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) were applied to examine the one-factor, two-factor, six-factor correlated, bifactor, and two-bifactor models.
The six-factor correlated CFA and ESEM, as well as the bifactor ESEM, showed good model fit indices. The six-factor correlated CFA solution demonstrated better item factor loadings whereas the interfactor correlations of six-factor correlated and bifactor ESEM were superior. The scores of the Chinese SCS-Y had significant positive correlations with psychological resilience, subjective well-being, and interpersonal competence but negative correlations with depressive and anxiety symptoms, indicating good concurrent validity. Incremental validity of the SCS-Y was also supported by the significant prediction of less depression and anxiety after adjusting for demographic and other psychological variables. The Chinese SCS-Y had satisfactory internal consistency.
The findings suggest that the Chinese version of the SCS-Y has good psychometric properties and can be used as a reliable and valid instrument to assess self-compassion among Chinese youth.