Self-Compassion and Responses to Trauma: The Role of Emotion Regulation

Arielle A J Scoglio, Deirdre A Rudat, Donn Garvert, Maggie Jarmolowski, Christie Jackson, Judith L Herman
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2018, 33 (13): 2016-2036
Emerging literature suggests that self-compassion may be an important concept for understanding recovery from the impact of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study explored the interconnection among self-compassion, resilience, emotion dysregulation, and PTSD symptom severity in a sample of treatment-seeking women with PTSD. We predicted that self-compassion would be negatively related to PTSD symptom severity and to emotion dysregulation, and positively related to resilience. The results supported our main hypotheses. In addition, emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between PTSD symptom severity and self-compassion and affected the relationship between self-compassion and resilience. These findings corroborate previous research that points to the important role of self-compassion in mental health and in the aftermath of stressful life events. The present study expands this research by demonstrating that PTSD symptom severity is negatively related to self-compassion in a clinical population of women with experiences of severe and repeated interpersonal trauma.


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