Compassion for Others and Self-Compassion: Levels, Correlates, and Relationship with Psychological Well-being

Angelica Lopez*, Robbert Sanderman, Adelita V. Ranchor, Maya J. Schroevers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)
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Compassion for others and self-compassion are assumed to be closely related concepts. Yet, as they have been mostly studied separately, little is known about their relationship and to what extent they differ or resemble each other with respect to their correlates. This cross-sectional study aimed to gain knowledge on their mean levels, interrelationship, and relationships to psychological well-being and demographic factors. A community sample of 328 adults completed a series of standardized self-report questionnaires to assess compassion for others, self-compassion, depressive symptoms, negative affect, and positive affect. Results showed that compassion for others and self-compassion were not significantly related. Self-compassion was more strongly related to negative and positive indicators of affect than compassion for others. Compassion for others was higher in women than in men, and in low educated individuals compared to higher educated individuals. In contrast, self-compassion was lower in low educated individuals. Future research can build up on these findings to enlarge the understanding of how compassion for others and self-compassion relate and differ from each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2018


  • Compassion for others
  • Self-compassion
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect
  • Demographics

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