The relationship between self-compassion and well-being: A comparison of Turkish and US university students

 2019 IJRSP – Volume 8 Issue 2


Sarı, Tuğba*
Akdeniz University, Turkey (

Conoley, Collie
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (


Recently self-compassion has become an important construct in psychology. This study furthers the cross-cultural understanding of self-compassion through sampling Turkish and United States (US) students. The participants were 386 university students (273 from Turkey and 113 from the US). The levels of total self-compassion and the sub-scales of the self-compassion measure were compared across the samples, along with self-compassion’s correlation with subjective well-being variables. Finally, self-acceptance and positive-relationships were examined as mediators of the correlation between self-compassion and the variables of life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect for each country. While no statistical differences were found between the samples in levels of total self-compassion, the Turkish sample was significantly higher than the US on two sub-scales (self-kindness and over-identification). Mediation analyses using self-acceptance and positive interpersonal relationships as mediators revealed differences between the Turkish and US students when examining the relationships between self-compassion and the components of subjective well-being. The results are discussed in the context of individualist and collectivist cultures, and the need to re-consider Neff’s components of self-compassion for collectivist cultures.

Keywords: cross-cultural differences; self-compassion; life satisfaction; positive affect; negative affect; positive-relationships; self-acceptance



*Corresponding Author