Miyagawa, Y., & Neff, K.D. (2023).

Miyagawa, Y.(宮川裕基), & Neff, K.D. (2023).
How self-compassion operates within individuals: An examination of latent profiles of state self-compassion in the U.S. and Japan. Mindfulness.

Self-compassion is theorized to be a state of mind representing the balance of compassionate self-responding (CS; kindness, common humanity and mindfulness) and uncompassionate self-responding (UCS; self-judgment, isolation and over-identification) in times of distress. However, there is an on-going debate about this conceptualization, with some arguing that CS and UCS operate separately and independently. A variation on this view is that the operation of self-compassion differs by culture: In Eastern dialectic cultures like China and Japan, individuals are thought to experience CS and UCS simultaneously but not in Western non-dialectic cultures like the U.S. Our research investigated this issue by examining how state self-compassion operates within individuals in both the U.S. and Japan. We conducted latent profile analyses of state self-compassion both before (n = 855) and after (n = 455) a self-compassion mood induction designed to increase CS. In both cultures, individuals were classified into one of three latent profiles only: Low State Self-Compassion (low CS and high UCS), Moderate State Self-Compassion (moderate CS and UCS), and High State Self-Compassion (high CS and low UCS). We did not find any individuals with a profile characterized by simultaneously high levels of CS and UCS. This was true even after a self-compassion mood induction, although the distribution of people in the three profiles changed reflecting a simultaneous increase in CS and decrease in UCS. Results suggest that CS and UCS operate holistically and not independently within individuals in both dialectical and nondialectical cultures. This study is not pre-registered.