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Examining the Antecedents and the Role of the Three Self-Compassion Components on Hong Kong Secondary School Students’ Psychological Well-being and Achievement Motivation

Project Scheme:
Early Career Scheme
Project Year:
2018/2019
Project Leader:
Dr LAW, Wilbert
(Department of Psychology)
Examining the Antecedents and the Role of the Three Self-Compassion Components on Hong Kong Secondary School Students’ Psychological Well-being and Achievement Motivation

The current proposal will attempt to extend the understanding of the positive effects of self-compassion to eudaimonic well-being indicators, such as vitality, self-actualization, and autonomous functioning.

In the last decade, researchers have begun the study of self-compassion and its effects on psychological well-being and subsequent achievement motivation. Numerous studies have shown that being able to treat oneself with kindness in face of adversities is associated with psychological well-being such as positive affect, life satisfaction, lower depression and anxiety symptoms. Lately, studies also showed self-compassion is associated with adaptive form of achievement motivation such as learning goals, intrinsic-, and self-improvement motivation. Although the significance of self-compassion is well documented, little is known about the antecedents of self-compassion, whether and how self-compassion can be enhanced. In addition, there is an increasing interest in how the components of self-compassion, namely, self-kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity are inter-related and predict the aforementioned outcomes. The generalization of the positive effects of self-compassion to adolescents in Chinese culture is also unclear.

 

The PI (PI) hypothesises that parent self-compassion and their parental socialization practices are antecedents of children self-compassion. Particularly, parents with high self-compassion are more likely to be compassionate toward their children whereas parents low self-compassion are more likely to withdraw affection and give negative children-focused comments after their children’s’ failures. These socialization practices further predict children self-compassion.

 

The supplementary investigation will examine the inter-relations of the three components of self-compassion. Mindfulness involves awareness of moment-by-moment experience in a non-judgmental way. It enables people to have an open mind to their own sufferings. Common humanity refers to the fact that all human beings share common experiences such as sufferings and failures. The awareness of the human fallibility could enhance our empathy and sympathy toward oneself. The PI proposes mindfulness and common humanity as the antecedents of self-kindness.

 

Lastly, the current proposal will attempt to extend the understanding of the positive effects of self-compassion to eudaimonic well-being indicators, such as vitality, self-actualization, and autonomous functioning.

 

The project consists of one dyadic (parent-child) longitudinal study lasting two years that examine the antecedents and consequences of self-compassion among secondary school students. This five-wave longitudinal study will investigate the intergenerational transmission of self-compassion and how self-compassion associate with both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being and achievement motivation outcomes throughout a school year. The proposed study contains both theoretical and practical significance. It addresses a gap in the existing body of knowledge regarding the antecedents of self-compassion. Moreover, it identifies key factors that help foster self-compassion, psychological wellness and adaptive achievement motivation among Hong Kong secondary school students.