Despite promising theory, empirical study of the putative protective properties of self-compassion (SC) with respect to resilience to and recovery from traumatic stress is limited. The present study tested the theorized protective role(s) of SC with respect to trauma-related psychopathology over time among an at-risk sample of adolescents (N = 64, 26 % females, M(SD) age = 17.5(1.07) years-old, range age = 15–19; grades 9–12) directly exposed to a potentially traumatic stressful event – the Mount Carmel Forest Fire Disaster. The longitudinal design involved three assessment time-points – within 30-days of the potentially traumatic event (T1) and then at 3- (T2) and 6-months (T3) follow-up intervals. Consistent with prediction, multi-level modeling of mediation documented the prospective protective function(s) of SC, above and beyond dispositional mindfulness, with respect to posttraumatic stress and panic symptoms, depressive symptoms, and suicidality symptoms, but not well-being. The findings are discussed, theoretically, with respect to SC as a malleable protective factor for trauma-related psychopathology outcomes; and, clinically, with respect to SC as a target for future trauma-related selective-prevention and -early intervention research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israeli Council for Higher Education Yigal Alon Fellowship, the European Union FP-7 Marie Curie Fellowship International Reintegration Grant, Psychology Beyond Borders Mission Award, Israel Science Foundation, the University of Haifa Research Authority Exploratory Grant, and the Rothschild-Caesarea Foundation’s Returning Scientists Project at the University of Haifa. Mr. Zvielli recognizes the support from the University of Haifa President’s Doctoral Fellowship Program.
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Developmental psychopathology
- Protective factor
- Risk factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health