Self-compassion in Chinese Young Adults: Specific Features of the Construct from a Cultural Perspective

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Smithson, J 
Ford, T 
Wang, P 
Wong, NYB 

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:sec jats:titleObjectives</jats:title> jats:pRecent research has suggested that Chinese individuals from a collectivist culture may have a different understanding of self-compassion, which could differentially contribute to mental health. This study aimed to obtain an in-depth insight into Chinese adults’ understanding of self-compassion.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleMethods</jats:title> jats:pFour online focus groups in Chinese undergraduates discussed the construct of self-compassion based on self-kindness, self-judgment, common humanity, isolation, mindfulness, and over-identification. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleResults</jats:title> jats:pChinese participants valued benign self-criticism and self-reflection when contemplating their understanding of self-compassion. Similarly, participants’ view of self-compassion dimensions can be described as dialectical in that they reflected both negative and positive perceptions in each factor rather than suggesting separate and purely negative or purely positive dimensions. There was also an overlap in the interpretation of the negative dimensions (self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification).</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleConclusions</jats:title> jats:pThe findings highlight particularities in the understanding of self-compassion in these Chinese students, which may be influenced by philosophical traditions promoting dialecticism and the dual focus on the transformation of the self and social participation. This suggests the importance of a cultural perspective when studying self-compassion and interpreting relevant research findings.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Self-compassion, Collectivist culture, Dialecticism, Confucianism, Chinese culture
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) (NIHR 201024)
Medical Research Council (G108/625)