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Self-Compassion Scale

 

Relaxation 2023
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Assessment name:  Self-Compassion Scale (SCS)

Scale overview: The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) is a 26 item self-report rating scale revealing compassionate responses towards oneself in six categories.

Author: Kristin Neff

Response Type: the scale uses a five point rating scale of frequency where 1 = Almost Never and 5 = Almost Always

Scale items

There are 26 items, which are associated with six subscales (see below). Some items are reverse scored.

1. I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.

2. When I’m feeling down I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong.

3. When things are going badly for me, I see the difficulties as part of life that everyone goes through.

4. When I think about my inadequacies, it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the

rest of the world.

5. I try to be loving towards myself when I’m feeling emotional pain.

6. When I fail at something important to me I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy.

7. When I'm down, I remind myself that there are lots of other people in the world feeling like I am.

8. When times are really difficult, I tend to be tough on myself.

9. When something upsets me I try to keep my emotions in balance.  

10. When I feel inadequate in some way, I try to remind myself that feelings of inadequacy are shared

by most people.

11. I’m intolerant and impatient towards those aspects of my personality I don't like.

12. When I’m going through a very hard time, I give myself the caring and tenderness I need.

13. When I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than I am.

14. When something painful happens I try to take a balanced view of the situation.

15. I try to see my failings as part of the human condition

16. When I see aspects of myself that I don’t like, I get down on myself.

17. When I fail at something important to me I try to keep things in perspective.

18. When I’m really struggling, I tend to feel like other people must be having an easier time of it.

19. I’m kind to myself when I’m experiencing suffering.

20. When something upsets me I get carried away with my feelings.

21. I can be a bit cold-hearted towards myself when I'm experiencing suffering.

22. When I'm feeling down I try to approach my feelings with curiosity and openness.

23. I’m tolerant of my own flaws and inadequacies.

24. When something painful happens I tend to blow the incident out of proportion.

25. When I fail at something that's important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure.

26. I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don't like.

Psychometric properties

Neff (2003) reported total SCS score alpha of .92 and six subscale alphas ranging from .75 to .81.

Neff et al. (2019) published psychometric data based on 20 diverse samples. They found support for using the total score and the six subscale scores. The SCS was administered in multiple languages. Internal consistency values were acceptable.

Scoring the Self-Compassion Scale

The following quote is taken from Dr. Neff’s letter and scale document.

SCORING KEY and the Six Subscales

Self-Kindness Items:  5, 12, 19, 23, 26

Self-Judgment Items (reverse scored): 1, 8, 11, 16, 21

Common Humanity Items: 3, 7, 10, 15

Isolation Items (reverse scored): 4, 13, 18, 25

Mindfulness Items: 9, 14, 17, 22

Over-identification Items (reverse scored): 2, 6, 20, 24

To reverse score items (1=5, 2=4, 3=3, 4=2, 5=1).

To compute a total self-compassion score, first reverse score the negative subscale items - self judgment, isolation, and over-identification. Then take the mean of each subscale, and compute a total mean (the average of the six subscale means). When examining subscale scores, higher scores on the self-judgment, isolation and over-identification scale indicate less self-compassion before reverse-coding, and more self-compassion after reverse coding. You can choose to report subscale scores with or without reverse-coding, but these three negative subscales must be reverse coded before calculating a total self-compassion score. Note that the scoring procedures are slightly different than that used in the original scale article (Neff, 2003), in which items were totaled rather than averaged. However, it is easier to interpret the scores of the total mean is used and most researchers currently report total SCS scores on a five-point scale.

 

Availability: Dr. Neff has kindly made her scale widely available. Please cite her reference given below. A letter accompanying her scale is as follows:

To Whom It May Concern:

Dr. Kristin Neff grants permission to use the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003) for any purpose whatsoever, including research, clinical work, teaching, etc.  Please cite:

Neff, K. D. (2003). Development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250.

Permission is also given to translate the Self-Compassion Scale using the analytic approach to validate the factor structure that was established in:

Neff, K. D., Tóth-Király, I., Yarnell, L., Arimitsu, K., Castilho, P., Ghorbani, N.,… Mantios, M. (2019).  Examining the Factor Structure of the Self-Compassion Scale using exploratory SEM bifactor analysis in 20 diverse samples: Support for use of a total score and six subscale scores. Psychological Assessment, 31 (1), 27-45. 

Best wishes,

Kristin Neff, PhD

  

References for the scale

Neff, K. D. (2003). Development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250.

Neff, K. D., Tóth-Király, I., Yarnell, L., Arimitsu, K., Castilho, P., Ghorbani, N.,… Mantios, M. (2019).  Examining the Factor Structure of the Self-Compassion Scale using exploratory SEM bifactor analysis in 20 diverse samples: Support for use of a total score and six subscale scores. Psychological Assessment, 31 (1), 27-45. 

 

Reference for using scales in research:

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Reference for clinicians on understanding assessment

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 Test Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index

  

NOTICE:

The information about scales and measures is provided for clinicians and researchers based on professional publications. The links to authors, materials, and references can change. You may be able to locate details by contacting the main author of the original article or another author on the article list.

 

Post Author

 

Geoffrey W. Sutton PhD is Emeritus Professor of Psychology who publishes book and articles about clinical and social psychology including the psychology of religion. Website:     www.suttong.com

  

Books available on   AMAZON       and the   GOOGLE STORE

 

Connections

   FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton  

  

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton

 

   PINTEREST  www.pinterest.com/GeoffWSutton

 

Read many published articles and book samples on:

 

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton   

 

  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton 

 

 

 

 

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