Self-Compassion, Wellbeing, and Distress in Adolescents and Young Adults with Chronic Medical Conditions: the Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation Difficulties

Karina Prentice, Clare Rees, Amy Finlay-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Adolescents and young adults with chronic medical conditions report higher distress and lower wellbeing than their physically healthy peers. Previous research suggests that self-compassion is negatively correlated with distress and positively correlated with wellbeing among healthy young people, as well as adults with chronic medical conditions. The current study aimed to extend these findings to a sample of adolescents and young adults with chronic medical conditions. This study also aimed to replicate findings observed in other populations by testing emotion regulation difficulties as a mediator of this relationship. Methods: Adolescents and young adults aged 16 to 25 with chronic physical medical conditions (N = 107) completed an online survey including measures of self-compassion, emotion-regulation, wellbeing, and distress. Two mediation models were tested using the PROCESS macro in SPSS, with distress and wellbeing as outcomes. Results: Self-compassion had a significant direct negative association with distress and a significant direct positive association with wellbeing. While self-compassion and emotion regulation difficulties explained a large amount of variance in both wellbeing, R2 =.31, p <.001, and distress, R2 =.46, p <.001, no support was found for the mediating role of emotion regulation difficulties between self-compassion and wellbeing. However, emotion regulation difficulties mediated the relationship between self-compassion and distress. Conclusions: These findings suggest that an emotion regulation model of self-compassion may be applicable to young people with chronic medical conditions. Future research within this population may evaluate programs that develop self-compassion and emotion regulation skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2241-2252
Number of pages12
JournalMindfulness
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

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