Self-compassion has been associated with numerous benefits at a personal level. However, despite suggestions that self-compassion might also lead to benefits for others, findings are inconsistent, and evidence regarding putative mechanisms is lacking. This pre-registered study examined whether personal values (self-transcendence, self-enhancement, conservation) mediated the link between self-compassion and compassion for others (within one’s social network) in a general population sample.
A community sample (n = 707) anonymously completed measures indexing demographics, self- and other-focused compassion, and personal values in an online survey.
As predicted, self-compassion was associated with higher compassion for others. A parallel multiple mediation model showed that differences in self-transcendence values (but not conservation or self-enhancement) were significant mediators (a3b3 = 0.94, 95% CI [0.40, 1.55]).
Self-compassion may be a way to enhance compassion for others, and differences in personal values (i.e., self-transcendence) may help explain this important link. Findings suggest the importance of evaluating motivation-related mediators in self-compassion research. Moreover, the research emphasizes the importance of identifying specific pathways through which self-compassion can potentially yield benefits. Further work in this area can enhance our understanding of the construct as well as inform future self-compassion interventions.
This study was pre-registered in AsPredicted.org (#86706).