Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

David L. Vogel


The purpose of the current research is to examine the strength of the relationships of self-compassion and self-coldness with distress and well-being. The self-report measure driving self-compassion research—the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003a)—has recently been identified as comprised of two overarching factors (i.e., self-compassion and self-coldness) rather than one overarching factor of self-compassion (Brenner, Heath, Vogel, & Credé, 2017; Costa, Pinto‐Gouveia, Ferreira, & Castilho, 2016; Lopez et al., 2015). As such, the extent to which associations between self-compassion and clinically relevant outcomes found in previous studies is due to self-compassion rather than self-coldness is unknown. Study 1 featured a cross-sectional design wherein participants from an adult community sample responded to measures of self-compassion and self-coldness, as well as brief measures of distress and well-being. Study 2 examined the replicability of these findings in an undergraduate sample with the inclusion of additional measures of distress. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the direct relationships of self-compassion and self-coldness with distress and well-being, as well as interactions between these two constructs. Across studies self-coldness uniquely predicted distress and well-being, and self-compassion uniquely predicted well-being. Self-compassion did not uniquely predict distress in either sample. The strengths of these relationships were similar across studies. Self-compassion moderated the relationship between self-coldness and distress in both studies and the relationship between self-coldness and well-being in Study 1 but not Study 2. The direct relationships examined were not moderated by gender, although men reported greater self-compassion and self-coldness than women.

Copyright Owner

Rachel Elizabeth Brenner



File Format


File Size

111 pages