College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. Department of Psychology
Dr. Lori Lange
Dr. Ashley Batts Allen
Dr. Jodi Grace
Dr. Micheal Toglia
Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick
Self-compassion is defined as the ability to treat oneself kindly following perceived failures and/or painful events; this construct is characterized by three components: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness (Neff, 2003). Although some people may naturally be more self-compassionate than others, previous self-compassion manipulations have shown that self-compassion is a mindset that can be taught. Several short-term self-compassion inductions have been published (Adams & Leary, 2007; Breines & Chen, 2012; Leary, Tate, Adams, Allen, & Hancock, 2007) showing that such inductions lead to more positive emotional and behavioral outcomes. The purpose of this research study was to determine whether a short self-compassion induction would impact people’s responses to an imagined sexual assault scenario. Female undergraduates (N = 141) were randomly assigned to a self-compassion condition or a control. All participants imagined a vivid sexual assault scenario and rated how they anticipated they would feel following the scenario (i., e emotion, less identity, fault, state self-compassion, formal and informal disclosure, and future behavioral intentions). Women who received the self-compassion induction experienced less negative effects following the scenario than participants in the control condition. Some of these effects (e.g., negative emotion, negative identity, formal and informal disclosure) were moderated by past sexual assault experiences showing that the self-compassion induction was more effective for women with no previous sexual assault experience. Comparing groups based on sexual assault history revealed the benefits of a short self-compassion induction may be limited to those with no previous experience. If applied to domestic violence programs, we recommend using a longer self-compassion intervention.
Cazeau, Stephanie, "Taking the Victim Out of Sexual Assault: The Effect of Self-Compassion on Sexual Assault Survivors" (2015). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 574.