A Preliminary Investigation into the Relationship Between Autistic Traits and Self-Compassion

Howes, Abby and Richards, Gareth and Galvin, John (2020) A Preliminary Investigation into the Relationship Between Autistic Traits and Self-Compassion. Psychological Reports. ISSN 0033-2941

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Self-compassion refers to the extension of kindness to oneself when faced with feelings of inadequacies, shortcomings or failures. It is possible that individuals high in autistic traits may encounter difficulties with self-compassion, and this could be particularly pronounced due to the social challenges they might face. To explore this potential relationship, we recruited university students and members of the general population to an online survey (n=176). Participants completed measures on demographics, autistic traits, and self-compassion. We found that autistic traits were indeed negatively correlated with self-compassion in both males and females. Interestingly, a comparison of the slopes showed significantly stronger relationships in males compared to females for the negative (but not the positive) subscales of the self-compassion scale. Although speculative at this point, it is possible that self-compassion acts as a mediator between autistic traits and psychopathology. With this in mind, further work is warranted to determine whether self-compassion could be a target for therapeutic intervention.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294120957244
18 August 2020Accepted
9 September 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-Compassion; Autism; Autistic Traits; Autistic Disorder; Autism Spectrum Disorder
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: John Galvin
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2020 13:48
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:42
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9738

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