خوددلسوزی در برابر اثرات منفی عزت نفس پایین محافظت می کند: مطالعه طولی در یک نمونه بزرگ نوجوانان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38920||2015||6 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4010 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 74, February 2015, Pages 116–121
Abstract Low self-esteem is usually linked to negative outcomes such as poor mental health, but is this always the case? Based on a contextual behavioural model, we reasoned that self-compassion would weaken the link between low self-esteem and low mental health. Self-compassion involves accepting self-doubt, negative self-evaluations and adversity as part of the human condition. In a longitudinal study of 2448 Australian adolescents, we assessed how self-esteem interacted with self-compassion in Grade 9 to predict changes in mental health over the next year. As hypothesized, self-compassion moderated the influence of self-esteem on mental health. Amongst those high in self-compassion, low self-esteem had little effect on mental health, suggesting a potentially potent buffering affect. We discuss the possibility that fostering self-compassion among adolescents can reduce their need for self-esteem in situations that elicit self-doubt.
Introduction “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” (Dalia Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness). Low self-esteem during adolescence predicts poorer mental health outcomes (Orth et al., 2009 and Orth et al., 2008), future suicide attempts (Lewinsohn et al., 1994 and Wichstrøm, 2000), and failure to develop positive social support networks (Marshall, Parker, Ciarrochi, & Heaven, 2014). Historically, practitioners working with young people with low self-esteem seek to increase their self-esteem through interventions (Neff, 2009). However, direct attempts to boost self-esteem may lead to young people becoming more narcissistic or antisocial (Baumeister, Smart, & Boden, 1996) and may lead young people to cling to positive self-concepts and avoid challenging learning opportunities that might threaten that concept (Dweck et al., 1995 and Mueller and Dweck, 1998). An alternative approach is to boost self-compassion which may help young people respond effectively to situations that evoke low self-esteem (Leary et al., 2007 and Neff, 2003b). A great deal of research has examined interventions that attempt to directly increase self-esteem in different domains (O’Mara, Marsh, Craven, & Debus, 2006). The core logic of these interventions is that low self-esteem can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading young people to act in negative, unhelpful ways. In other words, low self-esteem is viewed as a cause of problems. Recently, theorists in mindfulness and contextualist traditions have begun to challenge this view (Ciarrochi and Bailey, 2008 and Hayes et al., 2011). Low self-esteem is not seen as inherently causal. Rather, the effect of low self-esteem on outcomes is hypothesized to depend on context. 1.1. A contextual model: different ways of approaching difficult thoughts Consider the thought, “I am worthless.” In one context, young people are encouraged to take such self-evaluations seriously by, for example, being taught that they need high self-esteem to succeed and that low self-esteem is bad for them. Imagine this context also encourages young people to be intolerant of their flaws (e.g., “You always have to be the best you can be.”) This is a situation where we would expect thoughts like “I am worthless” to play a strong role in behaviour and to lead to the development of poor mental health. In contrast, consider a compassionate context: The young person is taught that every human is imperfect and feels inadequate sometimes and that, when going through a hard time, everybody can treat themselves with kindness, patience, and forgiveness. In this context, the thought “I am worthless” might have few long-term effects on mental health. The predictions made here can be understood more formally in terms of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), a modern behavioural account of human language (Hayes et al., 2001 and Törneke, 2010). Figure 1 presents a graphical image of the theory. RFT suggests that low self-esteem beliefs like “I am worthless” are cognitive events under two types of contextual influence: the relational context and the functional context. The relational context governs which relation is established between stimuli in a given moment (“I” and “worthless” are put into a relation of equivalence) while the functional context influences the impact of these words on future behaviour (e.g., “I am worthless” leads to high distress and social withdrawal). A contextual model of different ways of relating to difficult thoughts. Fig. 1. A contextual model of different ways of relating to difficult thoughts. Figure options A number of functional contexts are hypothesized to increase the impact of cognitive events on behaviour, including contexts that reinforce seeing thoughts as reasons for doing things or not doing things, taking thoughts literally, clinging to thoughts, or avoiding them. These social/verbal contexts increase the impact of negative thoughts because, in such contexts, the individual and/or the social community treat these thoughts as meaning literally what they say. These are represented in the top part of Fig. 1. If thoughts are taken to be infallible representations of reality (context of literality), they tend to have high impact on behaviour and distress. Examples of contexts that reduce the impact of cognitive events on behaviour include mindfully seeing them as an ongoing process, accepting thoughts as thoughts, for instance, by noticing how one’s body reacts to them; or watching thoughts from a psychologically distant perspective (Kross & Ayduk, 2008); adding paralinguistic or other features that reduce their impact such as singing them, saying them in a silly voice, or repeating them aloud (Masuda, Hayes, Sackett, & Twohig, 2004); or using nonattachment practices that allow release from the tendency to reify personal beliefs as infallible reflections of a fixed, knowable reality (Sahdra, Shaver, & Brown, 2010). These social/verbal contexts decrease the impact of negative thoughts because they are the ones in which the individual and/or the social community treats thoughts as objects of curiosity without assuming they literally mean what they say. These contexts are represented in the bottom part of Fig. 1. If thoughts are not taken to be infallible representations of reality, they have low impact on behaviour and distress. These ideas have been most extensively tested in studies examining different components of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT: Hayes et al., 2011). Levin, Hildebrant, Lillis, and Hayes (2012) reviewed 66 such studies and showed consistent support for this theory. For example, a study by Masuda et al. (2004) found that repeating a negative self-evaluation aloud for 30 s greatly reduced its believability and distressful impact – a finding that has been repeatedly replicated (e.g., Masuda, Feinstein, et al., 2010 and Masuda, Twohig, et al., 2010). Similarly a study by Marcks and Woods (2005) found that those who seek to suppress intrusive thoughts are more distressed by them relative to those who accept the intrusive thoughts. Past theory indicates that self-compassion has clear conceptual overlap with mindfulness and acceptance (e.g., Neff, 2003a). Based on our theoretical discussion above and related empirical studies, it logically follows that low self-esteem will have different associations with mental health in the two contexts of high and low self-compassion. 1.2. The compassionate context Neff defined self-compassion as comprising three key components exhibited during times of personal suffering and failure: (1) treating oneself kindly, (2) recognising one’s struggles as part of the shared human experience, and (3) holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness (Neff, 2003b and Neff, 2009). Self-compassion can be distinguished from self-esteem in that it provides a safe and caring context whereby one can connect with the negative aspects of self (Breines & Chen, 2012) without engaging in suppression or exaggeration of these feelings (Neff, Kirkpatrick, & Rude, 2007). Theoretically, what is important from a self-compassionate perspective is not the negativity of the thoughts, but rather how one chooses to respond to those thoughts when they arise. For example, it is entirely possible to decide to act kindly towards oneself even in the presence of unfavourable thoughts. Indeed recent research (described below) supports suggestions that people high in self-compassion may be less likely to fuse, or become entangled with negative self-concepts. Leary et al. (2007) undertook a series of experiments to examine the cognitive and emotional processes by which self-compassionate people deal with negative life events. They found that self-compassion acted as a buffer against negative emotions when people engaged in an interpersonal event involving unfavourable self-evaluation. This finding was particularly notable for participants low in self-esteem. They also found that self-compassion allowed individuals to acknowledge their personal role in negative events, whilst maintaining a broader perspective on negative self-concepts. Importantly, self-compassionate people appeared able to take an accepting and open stance to undesirable aspects of self, without becoming caught up in negative thoughts and defensive behaviour (Leary et al., 2007). Breines and Chen (2012) conducted four experiments that examined how self-compassion moderates peoples’ response to a variety of negative, ego-threatening situations. They found that experimentally induced self-compassion increased the belief that shortcomings can be changed, the desire to make amends and avoid repeating a moral transgression, effort in studying for a test following failure, and motivation to improve a personal weakness. Thus, in the context of self-compassion, negative events were associated with positive response. A similar effect has also been demonstrated in a clinical trial. Luoma, Kohlenberg, Hayes, and Fletcher (2012) compared ACT to treatment as usual (TAU) in reducing substance use. Similar to self-compassion interventions, ACT seeks to promote a kind acceptance of difficult inner experiences such as shame. The study found that the ACT group, compared to the TAU group, initially showed higher levels of shame during active treatment, but better long-term outcomes in reduced substance use. ACT appeared to allow the clients to more fully experience and process shame and this resulted in better outcomes. It is clear from the above review that self-compassion can potentially protect people from the harmful effects of negative life events and ego-threats. We sought to extend these adult findings to adolescents and, in particular, to examine the extent that self-compassion could lessen or even negate the influence of low self-esteem on the development of poor mental health (Gilbert, 2010 and Neff, 2003b). The young person high in self-compassion is expected to react to adversity and negative self-evaluations with self-kindness and a recognition that these negative evaluations are a normal part of being human (Neff, 2003a). A recent meta-analysis found a strong link between self-compassion and mental health indicators (MacBeth & Gumley, 2012). Self-compassion also predicts unique variance in mental health, after controlling for global self-esteem (Neff, 2003a). However, studies including both self-esteem and self-compassion as predictors of mental illness are limited (Neff, 2003a), and longitudinal designs with these variables are non-existent. The present study is the first to examine self-esteem, self-compassion and their interaction as predictors of changing mental health in young people. In line with theory, we hypothesized that self-compassion moderates the link between self-esteem and mental health, with a weaker link being observed amongst those high in self-compassion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results Given that all of the constructs considered in this analyses were assessed by way of self-reports, we considered the possible effect of shared method variance on the results. It should be noted that self-reports have been identified as the most adequate source of information regarding emotional states, such as those considered in the present study (e.g., Ilies, Fulmer, Spitzmuller, & Johnson, 2009). To ensure common method variance did not play a role, we estimated a full measurement model including an additional orthogonal latent method factor related to all items (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003). The fit of this model, which included longitudinal measurement invariance for mental health, was acceptable: χ2(1025) = 1458, CFI = .97, TLI = .97, RMSEA = .01. 1 The variance explained by this self-report method factor only accounted for an average of 16.2% of the total variance in the items, which suggests little bias was likely due to method variance ( Lance et al., 2010, Podsakoff et al., 2003 and Williams et al., 1989). Although common method bias was likely to be small, all models controlled for the common method factor. Table 1 provides latent correlations, means and standard deviations. Importantly, the clear evidence in favor of the fit of the measurement model and the relatively modest latent correlations provide strong support for the hypothesized measurement structure that implies self-esteem, self-compassion, and mental health all measure related but distinct constructs. Table 1. Factor correlations, means, and standard deviations. T1 self-compassion T1 self-esteem T1 mental health T2 mental health T1 self-compassion 1 T1 self-esteem −.44 1 T1 mental health .39 .53 1 T2 mental health .25 .35 .40 1 Means 3.05 .66 3.04 3.02 SD .56 .28 .57 .55 Table options We next tested the hypothesized model without the interaction between self-esteem and self-compassion. In addition, this model included the regression of T1 mental health, self-compassion, and self-esteem main effects on T2 mental health. The SEM analyses revealed significant main effects for T1 mental health (β = .30, SE = .04, p < .001), and self-esteem (β = .18, SE = .04, p < .001), and a marginal main effect for self-compassion (β = .07, SE = .04, p = .09). We then refitted the model including the latent interaction. Consistent with our hypothesis, there were significant and independent main effects of self-esteem (β = .27, SE = .04, p < .001) and self-compassion (β = .09, SE = .04, p < .05). Importantly, these effects were qualified by a significant interaction (β = −.09, SE = .04, p < .01). As illustrated in Fig. 2, those low in self-compassion (−1 SD) showed a stronger relationship between self-esteem and mental health than those high in self-compassion. We reran the model controlling for measures of socioeconomic status (mother’s and father’s employment), marital status of parents, and gender. Included in this model was a three-way interaction between self-compassion, self-esteem, and gender. These background variables did have a significant effect on mental health (χ2 = 203, p < .001), however, follow-up tests suggested this was due to significant differences in mental health across gender (b = .243, p < .001; Boys were approximately half a point higher on mental health than girls). Despite this significant difference, the two-way interaction between self-compassion and self-esteem remained significant (b = .18, p < .001). The three-way interaction between self-compassion, self-esteem, and gender was not significant (b = .02, p = .54). Latent interaction of self-esteem and self-compassion in Grade 9 predicting ... Fig. 2. Latent interaction of self-esteem and self-compassion in Grade 9 predicting residual change in mental health in Grade 10.