• Burnout in Professional Psychotherapists: Relationships with Self-Compassion, Work–Life Balance, and Telepressure

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Maxwell-Jones, Robert; Edwards, Ann-Marie; Knutton, Natalie; University of Derby (MDPI AG, 2021-05-17)
      Though negative impacts of COVID-19 on occupational mental health have been reported, the mental health of psychotherapists has not been evaluated in depth. As this occupational group treats ever-increasing mental health problems, it is essential to appraise key factors for their mental health. Accordingly, this study aimed to explore burnout of professional psychotherapists. A total of 110 participants completed self-report measures regarding burnout, self-compassion, work-life balance and telepressure. Correlation, regression and moderation analyses were conducted. Both of the burnout components-emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation-were positively associated with weekly working hours and telepressure, and negatively associated with age, self-compassion and work-life balance. Weekly working hours and work-life balance were significant predictors of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Lastly, self-compassion partially mediated the relationship between work-life balance and emotional exhaustion but did not mediate the relationship between work-life balance and depersonalisation. The findings suggest that maintaining high work-life balance is particularly important for the mental health of psychotherapists, protecting them from burnout. Moreover, self-compassion needs to be cultivated to mitigate emotional exhaustion. Mental health care for this occupational group needs to be implemented to achieve sustainable mental health care for workers and the public.
    • Cross-Cultural Comparison of Mental Health Between German and South African Employees: Shame, Self-Compassion, Work Engagement, and Work Motivation

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Mayer, Claude-Hélène; Vanderheiden, Elisabeth; University of Derby; University of Johannesburg; Europa Universität Viadrina (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-06-22)
      The negative impact of the coronavirus disease outbreak 2019 (COVID-19) on work mental health is reported in many countries including Germany and South Africa: two culturally distinct countries. This study aims to compare mental health between the two workforces to appraise how cultural characteristics may impact their mental health status. A cross-sectional study was used with self-report measures regarding (i) mental health problems, (ii) mental health shame, (iii) self-compassion, (iv) work engagement and (v) work motivation. 257 German employees and 225 South African employees have completed those scales. This study reports results following the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. T-tests, correlation and regression analyses were performed. German employees had lower mental health problems and mental health shame, and higher self-compassion than South Africans. Mental health problems were positively associated with mental health shame and amotivation, and negatively associated with work engagement and intrinsic motivation in both groups. Lastly, self-compassion, a PP 2.0 construct, was the strongest predictor for mental health problems in both countries. Our results suggest (i) that German culture’s long-term orientation, uncertainty avoidance and restraint may help explain these differences, and (ii) that self-compassion was important to mental health in both countries. While the levels of mental health differed between the two countries, cultivating self-compassion may be an effective way to protect mental health of employees in those countries. Findings can help inform managers and HR staff to refine their wellbeing strategies to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic, especially in German-South African organizations.
    • Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: Relationships with mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and motivation

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Van Laethem, Michelle; Ohshima, Remi; University of Derby; University of Amsterdam; Mejiro Daigaku, Shinjuku-ku, Japan (Emerald, 2020-07-09)
      The primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement, and work motivation between workers in Japan (collectivistic and success-driven culture) and the Netherlands (individualistic and quality-oriented culture). A cross-sectional design, where convenience samples of 165 Japanese and 160 Dutch workers completed self-report measures about mental health problems, shame, self-compassion, engagement and motivation, was used. Welch t-tests, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to compare i) the levels of these variables, ii) relationships among these variables, and iii) predictors of mental health problems, between the two groups. Dutch workers had higher levels of mental health problems, work engagement and intrinsic motivation, and lower levels of shame and amotivation than Japanese workers. Mental health problems were associated with shame in both samples. Mental health problems were negatively predicted by self-compassion in Japanese, and by work engagement in Dutch employees. The novelty of this study relates to exploring differences in work mental health between those two culturally contrasting countries. Our findings highlight potential cultural differences such as survey responding (Japanese acquiescent responding vs Dutch self-enhancement) and cultural emphases (Japanese shame vs Dutch quality of life). Job crafting, mindfulness and enhancing ikigai (meaningfulness in life) may be helpful to protect mental health in these workers, relating to self-compassion and work engagement. Findings from this study would be particularly useful to employers, managers, and staff in human resources who work with cross-cultural workforce.
    • Effects of Self-Compassion Training on Work-Related Well-Being: A Systematic Review

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-04-23)
      Self-compassion, sharing some commonalities with positive psychology 2.0 approaches, is associated with better mental health outcomes in diverse populations, including workers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is heightened awareness of the importance of self-care for fostering mental health at work. However, evidence regarding the applications of self-compassion interventions in work-related contexts has not been systematically reviewed to date. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to synthesize and evaluate the utility of self-compassion interventions targeting work-related well-being, as well as assess the methodological quality of relevant studies. Eligible articles were identified from research databases including ProQuest, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. The quality of non-randomized trials and randomized controlled trials was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Quality Assessment Table, respectively. The literature search yielded 3,387 titles from which ten studies met the inclusion criteria. All ten studies reported promising effects of self-compassion training for work-related well-being. The methodological quality of these studies was medium. All ten studies recruited workers in a caring field and were mostly conducted in Western countries. The Self-Compassion Scale or its short-form was used in almost all instances. Findings indicate that self-compassion training can improve self-compassion and other work-related well-being outcomes in working populations. However, in general, there is need for greater methodological quality in work-related self-compassion intervention studies to advance understanding regarding the applications and limitations of this technique in work contexts. Furthermore, future studies should focus on a broader range of employee groups, including non-caring professions as well as individuals working in non-Western countries.
    • Effects of Shinrin-yoku Retreat on Mental Health: A Pilot Study in Fukushima, Japan

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Fido, Dean; University of Derby (Springer, 2021-05-06)
      Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) is a cost-effective healing practice that has recently attracted the interest of social scientists who have attributed it, in part, to mental health benefits. Japanese university students suffer from high rates of mental health problems, and the number of suicides remain high despite the total number of suicides in Japan decreasing. Effective mental health approaches which increase mental wellbeing and self-compassion, and reduce associated deficits, such as loneliness, are sought after for Japanese students, however healthful treatment has not been identified to date. Accordingly, this pre-post pilot study evaluated the levels of mental wellbeing, self-compassion, and loneliness among 25 Japanese undergraduate students who participated in a three-day shinrin-yoku retreat in Fukushima. Measurements were taken prior, straight after, and two weeks-post intervention. One-way ANOVA with Tukey post hoc analysis revealed that the mean scores of self-compassion, common humanity, and mindfulness increased statistically significantly from pre-retreat to follow-up. The mean scores of mental wellbeing and loneliness did not statistically significantly change. The positive effects on self-compassion indicate that shinrin-yoku retreat should be evaluated within a larger sample and in a shorter time frame to establish optimal shinrin-yoku parameters in this arena.
    • Mental health of Malaysian university students: UK comparison, and relationship between negative mental health attitudes, self-compassion, and resilience

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ting, Su-Hie; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-05-05)
      Poor mental health of university students is becoming a serious issue in many countries. Malaysia - a leading country for Asia-Pacific education - is one of them. Despite the government’s effort to raise awareness, Malaysian students’ mental health remains challenging, exacerbated by the students’ negative attitudes towards mental health (mental health attitudes). Relatedly, self-compassion and resilience have been reported to improve mental health and mental health attitudes. Malaysian students (n=153) responded to paper- based measures about mental health problems, negative mental health attitudes, self- compassion and resilience. Scores were compared with 105 UK students, who also suffered from poor mental health and negative mental health attitudes, to make a cross-cultural comparison, to contextualise Malaysian students’ mental health status, using t-tests (Aim 1). Correlation, path, and moderation analyses were conducted, to evaluate the relationships among these mental health constructs (Aim 2). Malaysian students scored higher on mental health problems and negative mental health attitudes, and lower on self-compassion and resilience than UK students. Mental health problems were positively associated with negative mental health attitudes, and negatively associated with self-compassion and resilience. While self-compassion mediated the relationship between negative mental health attitudes and mental health problems (high self-compassion weakened the impacts of negative mental health attitudes on mental health problems), resilience did not moderate the same relationship (the level of resilience did not influence the impact of negative mental health attitudes on mental health problems). Self-compassion training was suggested to counter the challenging mental health in Malaysian university students.
    • Mental health of therapeutic students: relationships with attitudes, self-criticism, self-compassion, and caregiver identity

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-18)
      As mental health awareness increases, more students enrol to therapeutic subjects, aspiring to help others' mental wellbeing. While mental health of other caring students has been explored, therapeutic students' mental health has not been investigated thoroughly. This study aimed to explore relationships between mental health, mental health attitudes, self-criticism/self-reassurance, self-compassion, and caregiver identity of counselling and occupational therapy students. One hundred forty-five students, recruited through opportunity sampling, completed measures about those constructs. Correlation and regression analyses revealed that their mental health was associated with attitudes, self-criticism/self-reassurance and self-compassion. Self-criticism and internal shame were independent predictors of mental health. Findings will inform the mental health status of therapeutic students and help identify better solutions for their challenging mental health.
    • Mental health shame of UK construction workers: Relationship with masculinity, work motivation, and self-compassion.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; UDOL; University of Derby (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid, 2019-07-05)
      Despite their poor mental health, many UK construction workers do not seek out help, because of shame for mental health problems relating to masculinity. The purposes of this study were to investigate relationships among mental health shame, mental health problems, masculinity, self-compassion, and motivation, and examine whether self-compassion would mediate the relationship between mental health shame and mental health problems. Construction workers (n=155) completed measures for those five constructs. The five constructs were adequately correlated with each other, but masculinity and motivation were not related to shame. Self-compassion partially mediated the relationship between mental health shame and mental health problems. Findings may help construction workers understand the importance of mental health shame with mental health problems, and identify better solutions for poor mental health. Brief online self-compassion training was recommended to reduce shame and enhance self-compassion, and may be accessible for construction workers who work at diverse sites and hours.
    • Mental health shame, self-compassion and sleep in UK nursing students: complete mediation of self-compassion in sleep and mental health

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Cockerill, Vicky; Chircop, James; Forman, Dawn; University of Derby (Wiley, 2020-12-23)
      To explore relationships between mental health problems, mental health shame, self- compassion and average length of sleep in UK nursing students. The increasing mental health problems in nursing students may be related to a strong sense of shame they experience for having a mental health problem. Self-compassion has been identified as a protective factor for mental health and shame in other student populations. Further, studies highlight the importance of sleep relating to mental health. Design: A cross‐sectional design. A convenient sampling of 182 nursing students at a university in the East Midlands completed a paper-based questionnaire regarding these four constructs, from February to April 2019. Correlation, regression and mediation analyses were conducted. Mental health problems were positively related to shame, and negatively related to self- compassion and sleep. Mental health shame positively predicted, and self-compassion negatively predicted mental health problems: sleep was not a significant predictor of mental health problems. Lastly, self-compassion completely mediated the impacts of sleep on mental health problems (negative relationship between mental health problems and sleep was fully explained by self-compassion). The importance of self-compassion was highlighted as it can reduce mental health problems and shame. Self-compassion can protect nursing students from mental distress when they are sleep-deprived. Impact: Nurses and nursing students are required to work irregular hours (e.g., COVID-19), and mental distress can cause serious consequences in clinical practice. Our findings suggest that nurturing self-compassion can protect their mental health, and the negative impacts of sleep deprivation on mental health.
    • Motivation of UK graduate students in education: Self-compassion moderates pathway from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Taylor, Elaina; Fido, Dean; Williams, Dan; Tsuda-McCaie, Freya; University of Derby (Springer, 2021-09-22)
      Academic motivation is recognised as a key factor for academic success and wellbeing. Highly motivated students actively engage with academic activities and maintain higher levels of wellbeing. Despite the importance of motivation in education, its relationship with engagement and wellbeing remains to be evaluated. Accordingly, this study explored the relationships between motivation, engagement, self-criticism and selfcompassion among UK education postgraduate students. Of 120 postgraduate students approached, 109 completed three self-report scales regarding those constructs. Correlation, regression and moderation analyses were performed. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were positively associated with engagement, whereas amotivation was negatively associated with it. Engagement positively predicted intrinsic motivation. Self-criticism and self-compassion moderated the pathway from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation: higher self-criticism weakened the pathway, while higher selfcompassion strengthened it. Findings suggest the importance of engagement in relation to cultivating intrinsic motivation of education students. Moreover, enhancing selfcompassion and reducing self-criticism can help transfer extrinsic to intrinsic motivation.
    • Pathways to sex addiction: Relationships with adverse childhood experience, attachment, narcissism, self-compassion and motivation in a gender-balanced sample

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Rhodes, Christine; UDOL; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-01)
      Research about sex addiction and its relationships with other constructs remains unexplored. We recruited a gender-balanced sample (53 men, 51 women) who responded to measures of sex addiction, adverse childhood experience, adult attachment, narcissism, self-compassion and motivation. Sex addiction was found to be statistically significantly associated with these constructs. Anxious attachment statistically significantly mediated the relationship between adverse childhood experience and sex addiction and the relationship between narcissism and sex addiction. Self-compassion did not statistically significantly moderate the relationship between anxious attachment and sex addiction. Therapeutic approaches targeting attachment and narcissism such as relation-based or mindfulness-based interventions are recommended.
    • Positive psychology for mental wellbeing of uk therapeutic students: Relationships with engagement, motivation, resilience, and self-compassion.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-01-12)
      This study aimed to examine the relationships between mental wellbeing and positive psychological constructs in therapeutic students (psychotherapy and occupational therapy students). The number of therapeutic students has increased recently, however they suffer from poor mental health, which may be improved by potentiating their positive psychological constructs, bypassing mental health shame. Therapeutic students (n=145) completed measures regarding positive psychological constructs, namely mental wellbeing, engagement, motivation, resilience, and self-compassion. Resilience and self-compassion predicted mental wellbeing, explaining a large effect. Self-compassion partially mediated the relationship between resilience and mental wellbeing. This study highlights the importance of positive psychological constructs, especially resilience and self-compassion, for mental wellbeing of therapeutic students.
    • Positive psychology of Malaysian students: impacts of engagement, motivation, self-compassion and wellbeing on mental health

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ting, Su-Hie; University of Derby; Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Springer, 2019-12-18)
      Malaysia plays a key role in education of the Asia Pacific, expanding its scholarly output rapidly. However, mental health of Malaysian students is challenging, and their help-seeking is low because of stigma. This study explored the relationships between mental health and positive psychological constructs (academic engagement, motivation, self-compassion, and wellbeing), and evaluated the relative contribution of each positive psychological construct to mental health in Malaysian students. An opportunity sample of 153 students completed the measures regarding these constructs. Correlation, regression, and mediation analyses were conducted. Engagement, amotivation, self-compassion, and wellbeing were associated with, and predicted large variance in mental health. Self-compassion was the strongest independent predictor of mental health among all the positive psychological constructs. Findings can imply the strong links between mental health and positive psychology, especially selfcompassion. Moreover, intervention studies to examine the effects of self-compassion training on mental health of Malaysian students appear to be warranted.
    • Predicting self-compassion in UK nursing students: Relationships with resilience, engagement, motivation, and mental wellbeing

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Cockerill, Vicky; Chircop, James; Kaluzeviciute, Greta; Dyson, Sue E.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-02-11)
      Self-compassion, being kind towards oneself, has been identified as a key protective factor of mental health. This is consistent with students’ experiences in the study of nursing, which attracts a large number of students in the United Kingdom. Despite the importance of self-compassion, knowledge in how to enhance self-compassion is under-researched. Self-compassion interventions are commonly related to meditative exercises. In order to suggest alternative approaches, relationships between self-compassion and more established constructs need to be appraised. Accordingly, this study evaluated predictors of self-compassion, examining its relationships with more established constructs examined in other healthcare student populations: resilience, engagement, motivation and mental wellbeing. An opportunity sample of 182 UK nursing students at a university in East Midlands completed self-report measures about these constructs. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted. Self-compassion was positively related to resilience, engagement, intrinsic motivation and mental wellbeing, while negatively related to amotivation. Resilience and mental wellbeing were identified as significant predictors of self-compassion. As resilience and mental wellbeing are relatively familiar to many nursing lecturers and students, educators can incorporate a self-compassion component into the existing resilience training and/or mental wellbeing practices.
    • Revisiting the self-compassion scale-short form: Stronger associations with self-inadequacy and resilience

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-05-24)
      The Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form (SCS-SF) was developed as an economical alternative for the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), one of the few scales to assess self-compassion. Despite the active use of the SCS-SF, a psychometric evaluation of this scale remains limited. This study analysed the factor structure, reliability, and construct validity of the SCS-SF in UK university student populations. Methods Of 365 students approached, 333 completed the SCS-SF, and other measures including negative psychological constructs (mental health problems, self-criticism, and mental health shame) and positive psychological constructs (self-reassurance, resilience, and wellbeing). Data were analysed through confirmatory factor analyses and correlations. Results CFA revealed that the six-factor structure, reported in the validation paper, was not replicated. The positive factor, consisting of the three positive subscales, was not strongly related to any variable, but moderately related to reassured-self, resilience, wellbeing, and inadequate-self. The negative factor, consisting of the three negative subscales, was strongly related to inadequate-self, and moderately related to resilience, reassured-self, stress, wellbeing, depression, and internal shame. Coefficients in the negative factor were in general larger than those in the positive factor. The total SCS-SF score was most strongly related to inadequate-self, followed by resilience. Inter-correlations of the six subscales did not follow Neff (2003b)'s theoretical model of self-compassion nor the full-scale factor solution. Conclusions Findings do not accord with the common use of the global SCS-SF score as an assessment of six factors of self-compassion, and suggest a two factor solution assessing self-criticism and self-compassion.
    • Roles of positive psychology for mental health in UK social work students: self-compassion as a predictor of better mental health

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Oxford Academic, 2019-11-29)
      Despite high shame about mental health symptoms among UK social work students, positive psychological approaches to their mental health have not been investigated in depth. Emotional resilience has been a core skill in social work practice, however its relationship with mental health is still unclear. Therefore, the primary purposes of this cross-sectional study were to (i) examine the relationships between mental health and positive psychological constructs, namely resilience, self-compassion, motivation, and engagement, and (ii) determine predictors of mental health in UK social work students. An opportunity sampling of 116 UK social work students (102 females, 14 males; 96 undergraduates, 20 postgraduates) completed five measures about these constructs. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted. Mental health was associated with resilience, self-compassion, and engagement. Self-compassion was a negative predictor, and intrinsic motivation was a positive predictor of mental health symptoms. Resilience did not predict mental health symptoms. The findings highlight the importance of self-compassion to the challenging mental health of UK social work students; they caution against the overuse and misunderstanding of resilience in the social work field.
    • Self-compassion in Irish social work students: Relationships between resilience, engagement and motivation

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Tsuda-McCaie, Freya; Edwards, Ann-Marie; Bhandari, Divya; Maughan, Geraldine; University of Derby; Medical Governance Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan; Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick, Ireland (MDPI AG, 2021-08-02)
      Self-compassion recognises a meaning of life's suffering, aligning with existential positive psy-chology. Although this construct is known to protect our mental health, how to augment self-compassion remains to be evaluated. Social work students suffer from high rates of mental health problems, however research into self-compassion in this population remains to be devel-oped. This study aimed to evaluate i) relationships between self-compassion and more tradition-al positive constructs—resilience, engagement and motivation, and ii) differences of these con-structs between the levels of studies, to inform how self-compassion can be enhanced in social work students. One hundred twenty-nine Irish social work students completed self-report scales regarding self-compassion, resilience, engagement and motivation. Correlation, regression, and one-way MANOVA were conducted. Self-compassion was associated with gender, age, resili-ence, engagement and intrinsic motivation. Resilience and intrinsic motivation were significant predictors of self-compassion. There was no significant difference in the levels of these constructs between the levels of studies. Findings suggest that social work educators across different levels can strengthen students’ resilience and intrinsic motivation to cultivate the students' self-compassion. Moreover, the close relationships between self-compassion, resilience and in-trinsic motivation indicate that orienting students to a meaning of the studies helps their mental health.