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Diedrich, Alice; Burger, Julian; Kirchner, Mareike and Berking, Matthias (2017): Adaptive emotion regulation mediates the relationship between self-compassion and depression in individuals with unipolar depression. In: Psychology and Psychotherapy-theory Research and Practice, Vol. 90, No. 3: pp. 247-263

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Abstract

ObjectivesTo identify the mechanisms involved in the association between self-compassion and depression, we examined whether adaptive emotion regulation would mediate the relationship between self-compassion and depression in individuals with unipolar depression. Furthermore, we explored which specific emotion regulation skills would be most important in this relationship. Design and methodSixty-nine individuals with unipolar depression were assessed with the Self-Compassion Scale and the Emotion Regulation Skills Questionnaire at baseline and with the Beck Depression Inventory-II 1week later. ResultsThe results showed that successful application of emotion regulation skills mediates the association between self-compassion and depression. Among eight specific emotion regulation skills, only the ability to tolerate negative emotions was identified as a significant mediator in the self-compassion-depression relationship. ConclusionsThese findings provide preliminary evidence that systematically fostering self-compassion might help depressed individuals cope with their symptoms by enhancing their abilities to tolerate undesired emotions.

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