Ability to receive compassion from others buffers the depressogenic effect of self-criticism: A cross-cultural multi-study analysis
Zuroff, David C.
Kopala-Sibley, Daniel C.
Kelly, Allison C.
University of Waterloo
University of Coimbra
University of Derby
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AbstractSelf-criticism has been shown to be a vulnerability factor that can lead to and maintain depression. We examined the moderating effect of fear of receiving compassion from others on the positive association between self-criticism and depression. Self-report measures were administered to four separate samples (total N = 701) varying in age (students and community adults) and cultural context (Canada, England, and Portugal). Two different measures of self-criticism and of depression were administered to investigate the generalizability of results. Self-criticism, depression, and fear of compassion from others were positively related to one another in all samples. As predicted, fear of compassion from others exerted a moderating effect on the relationship between self-criticism and depression. Low fear of compassion from others weakened the depressogenic effect of self-criticism, while high fear of compassion from others exacerbated the effect. Thus, a self-critic's ability to be open and responsive to care and support from others protected against depression. The aggregate moderating effect across the four studies was of medium size (d + = .53) and highly significant, indicating a robust phenomenon. Implications for working with self-critical depressed patients are discussed.
CitationHermanto, N. et al (2016) 'Ability to receive compassion from others buffers the depressogenic effect of self-criticism: A cross-cultural multi-study analysis', Personality and Individual Differences, 98:324
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences