Emotion Regulation as a Mediator Between a History of Childhood Maltreatment and Present Levels of Self-Compassion
Dr. Marilyn Welsh
Type of Resources
Self-Compassion is a rising topic in the world of research. It has three main components: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness (Scoglio et al., 2018). Childhood maltreatment can have long-lasting negative impacts on one’s mental and emotional health, which can affect one’s levels of self-compassion. Emotion regulation can potentially play a role in this association by mitigating the effects of childhood maltreatment on later self-compassion. In addition, the relations between these three concepts and their subtypes or components were examined to further research on these topics in general. The sample consisted of 113 college students from a lower-level psychology course. They filled out an online survey that included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). The data from these questionnaires were cross-correlated to identify significant associations; based on these relationships, a mediation analysis was performed. Most aspects of emotion dysregulation were positively associated with total maltreatment scores, particularly emotional abuse and neglect. There were negative correlations between emotional abuse and self-compassion's self-kindness and mindfulness components and between total maltreatment and self-kindness. There were also negative correlations between all components of self-compassion and emotion dysregulation. Total self-compassion also was negatively correlated with all aspects of emotion dysregulation and emotional abuse. The mediation analysis found that total emotion dysregulation fully mediates the association between emotional abuse and self-kindness. The results of the present study provide insight into how emotion regulation strategies are useful in increasing self-compassion in survivors of childhood maltreatment.