Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jody S. Nicholson

Second Advisor

Dr. Ashley Batts Allen

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


Self-compassion has quickly gained recognition for its many cognitive, emotional, and psychological benefits (Neff, 2003b). The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003a) is currently the only instrument measuring self-compassion and is commonly used. The current model contains six factors: self-kindness, self-judgment, common humanity, isolation, mindfulness, and over-identification. However, the SCS has recently come under fire due to limited evidence of its psychometric properties (Lopez et al., 2015). Researchers who have attempted to replicate the factor structure proposed by Neff have found mixed results using both exploratory and confirmatory methods. Our primary aim is to establish the factor structure of the SCS with a large, more representative sample. Thirteen samples (total n = 2,515) using the SCS were combined to demonstrate a more comprehensive approach to investigating the scales’ psychometric properties. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) demonstrated good model fit for the six-factor solution. However, little is known about how the SCS items naturally load together. A subsequent exploratory factor analysis (EFA) demonstrated lack of good model fit for the six-factor model; instead, a simpler, two-factor solution emerged. However, the twofactor model is inconsistent with the theoretical conceptualization of self-compassion. Future research should use more advanced statistical models to explain the multidimensionality of the SCS.