The Mediating Role of Cognitive Emotion Regulation in the Relationship between Self-compassion and Compassion

Document Type : Original Article


1 Family Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Health Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: The new conceptualization for compassion towards others includes kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. Self-compassion could be related to compassion through different psychological processes. The current study aimed to explore the mediating effect of cognitive emotion regulation strategies in the relationship between self-compassion and compassion for others.
Method: The research method was correlational and the statistical population consisted of all online responders in Iran above the age of 18, in the year 2021. An online sample of 412 individuals (M=37.89, SD=9.06, 18-64; 57.5% females) were selected using convenience sampling, and completed the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), developed by Neff in 2003, the Compassion Scale (CS), developed by Pommier in 2011 and the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERS), developed by Garnefski et al. in 2001. In order to analyze data, descriptive statistics, correlation matrix and structural equation modeling were used with SPSS 21 and AMOS 22.
Results: The results indicated that self-compassion and compassion were positively correlated. Furthermore, structural equation modeling revealed that self-compassion was only indirectly related to compassion for others through the mediating role of adaptive cognitive emotion regulation strategies (p<0.05). However, maladaptive emotion regulation strategies did not play a mediating role in this relationship (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The findings indicate that adaptive emotion regulation strategies appear to have a central role in explaining the relationship between self-compassion and compassion towards others. Self-compassion can be targeted when designing intervention programs to cultivate compassion and promote adaptive emotion regulation strategies.


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