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Self-compassion: a moderator of the negative outcomes of stress

Harvey, Lucille (2018) Self-compassion: a moderator of the negative outcomes of stress. Bournemouth University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

NHS mental health staff are highly stressed with many negative implications. Self-compassion is consistently related to lower stress and higher psychological wellbeing and recent research found high self-compassion elicits lesser stress response. The present study explored this in a highly stressed population. An online survey was conducted across five mental health trusts with 281 staff (83.6% females, mean age = 39.64 years) with scales measuring self-compassion, stress, mental well-being, anxiety, depression and sleep quality. Analyses found self-compassion only moderates the stress-depression relationship: high self-compassion corresponds to a weaker association between stress and depression. This supports previous evidence showing self-compassion relates to differing stress reactivity and suggests self-compassion is related to resilience and can act as a protective factor

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