Long, P. & Neff, K. (2018). Self-compassion is associated with reduced self-presentation concerns and increased communication behavior. Learning and Individual Differences, 67, 223-231.
Verbal communication can facilitate learning, academic performance, and a sense of belonging when students participate in classroom discussions, asks questions, seek help and speak with their instructors outside of class. Unfortunately, such adaptive communication behaviors are less likely to occur when students fear others’ evaluations in group and dyadic settings. Using cross-sectional data from 691 undergraduates, this study investigated whether students’ levels of self-compassion (the tendency to be mindful and kind to oneself and to recognize one’s common humanity) would be associated with lower fear of evaluation and higher academic communication behavior. Students with higher self-compassion exhibited lower classroom participation avoidance and reported a higher tendency to ask questions, seek help, and speak with their instructors outside the classroom. Additionally, tests of a parallel mediation model revealed the degree to which students feared both negative and positive evaluation from others accounted for the relationship between self-compassion and most of these communication variables. The results suggest that self-compassion may be a source of resilience in students’ affective experiences and behaviors related to verbal communication. Experimental research should explore the causal connection between self-compassion and these communication variables to understand if self-compassion practices lead to decreased student communication apprehension and fear of evaluation and increased communication behaviors.
Neff, K., Long, P., Knox, M.C., Davidson, O., Kuchar, A., Costigan, A., Williamson, Z., Tóth-Király, I., & Breines, J.G. (2018). The forest and the trees: Examining the factor structure of the self-compassion scale and the association of its positive and negative components with psychological functioning. Self and Identity, 17, 627-645.
This paper presents two studies focusing on the link between psychological functioning and self-compassion as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), especially in terms of SCS components that represent increased compassionate and reduced uncompassionate behavior. Study One examined this association in seven domains – psychopathology, positive psychological health, emotional intelligence, self-concept, body image, motivation, and interpersonal functioning – and found that while reduced negative self-responding had a stronger link to negative emotionality and self-evaluation than positive self-responding, they were roughly equivalent predictors in other domains. Study Two examined the association of compassionate and reduced uncompassionate behavior with sympathetic nervous system and inflammatory activity after stress, and found they equally predicted salivary alpha amylase and interleukin-6 levels in individuals after a stressful situation. Overall, results suggest that both compassionate and reduced uncompassionate self-responding are central to self-compassion and that both help to explain its link to healthy psychological functioning.
Park, J., Long, P., Choe, N, & Schallert, D. (2018). The contribution of self-compassion and compassion to others to students’ emotions and project commitment when experiencing conflict in group projects. International Journal of Educational Research, 88, 20-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2018.01.009
Group project assignments have become popular in college-level instruction, making group chemistry and harmony crucial for students’ learning. Because the nature of group projects highlights collaborative work, it is common for students to experience conflict among team members for various reasons, thereby hindering their learning and motivation to participate in the project. Such negative motivational consequences of what is termed intragroup conflict for this study may be mitigated by group members’ responses to the conflict. This study explored the role of compassion (self-compassion and compassion to others) in college students’ motivational and emotional experiences when intragroup conflict among team members was perceived. From an initial model of students’ various motivational goals for the group project, measures of intragroup conflict (in a second step) and of self-compassion and compassion to others (in a third step) were added to predictions of students’ project commitment and emotions. Three hierarchical multiple regressions showed that goals explained a significant amount of variance in project commitment and positive and negative emotions. A measure of conflict improved predictions significantly as did adding measures of self-compassion and compassion to others. The final model for project commitment showed that significant contributors were intragroup conflict (in a negative direction) and compassion to others (positive direction). Positive emotions were predicted only by self-compassion, whereas negative emotions were predicted by intragroup conflict (positively), self-compassion (negatively), and compassion to others (negatively).
Lindsay, T., Goldman, J., Long, P., & Leone, L. (2017). Competency based education graduate outcomes: Parts I and II. The Texas Public Policy Foundation.