Self-Compassion, Social Interest, and Depression

Depression is a serious condition that manifests through physical, emotional, cognitive, and social impairments. Self-compassion is a particular way of relating to oneself that has roots in Buddhist philosophy but is also gaining an empirical understanding. The following literature review and research proposal examines research relating to self-compassion, depression, and the Adlerian concept of social interest to investigate any correlations, and possible causation, between the constructs. Available research indicated that there are a number of possible variables underlying depression, such as severity level, a tendency toward self-criticism and/or a negative cognitive style, that may affect the course of depression and/or the effectiveness of treatment for depression. Available research indicated that self-compassion is a unique construct that may offer distinctive cognitive, emotional, and behavioral protections. These protections may have particular ramifications for people with a tendency toward self-criticism. An analysis of social interest illustrates that it is an established construct from a theoretical standpoint yet a complex construct to measure from an empirical standpoint. This researcher proposes a study that would analyze the strength and directionality of possible correlations between these constructs and their underlying dimensions as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale, Beck Depression Inventory (2nd ed.), and Sulliman Scale of Social Interest.

Heidi Hammond
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