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1. Zhao, Wenfeng. Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma.

Degree: PhD, Psychology(Functional Area: Clinical Psychology), 2019, York University

Self-stigma, the internalization of public stigma, is a significant hindrance to help-seeking and treatment adherence for mental illness. Stigma reduction strategies have thus far focused on mitigating the negative impact of self-stigma by bolstering self-esteem. However, self-esteem is resistant to change and direct attempts to boost self-esteem have been suggested to foster narcissism and unhealthy attachment to positive self-image. Alternatively, self-compassion has been demonstrated to offer similar benefits as self-esteem with fewer downsides. More importantly, self-compassion can be improved with short interventions. Study One is a mixed method study that examined how self-compassion, and the different facets of self-compassion, related to mental health stigma and help-seeking attitude and intentions. Study One compared self-compassion and self-esteem as predictors of self-stigma related to having a mental illness (SSMI) and self-stigma of seeking help for mental illness (SSOSH). Regression analyses showed that self-compassion uniquely predicted both forms of self-stigma and explained more of the variances in both SSMI and SSOSH than self-esteem in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 185). Findings also suggest that the self-kindness aspect of self-compassion may be more protective against SSMI, whereas common humanity is particularly relevant for SSOSH and help-seeking. The qualitative component of Study One revealed both interpersonal and intrapersonal themes in participants perception and experience of SSOSH. Study Two explored the potential of a brief one-time intervention to improve self-stigma and help-seeking attitude and intentions in a separate sample of undergraduate students (N = 133). Study Two also found evidence that self-efficacy and perceived self-competence, two factors positively related to self-compassion, may deter professional help-seeking. Findings of the present set of studies indicate that self-compassion is a promising target for intervention to reduce both forms of self-stigma identified as barriers to mental health recovery. Advisors/Committee Members: Goldberg, Joel (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Social psychology; Self-compassion; Self-stigma; Stigma intervention; Self-esteem; Mental health stigma; Help-seeking; Self-efficacy; Self-competence; Mixed-method

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APA (6th Edition):

Zhao, W. (2019). Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma. (Doctoral Dissertation). York University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35831

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Zhao, Wenfeng. “Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, York University. Accessed March 20, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35831.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Zhao, Wenfeng. “Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma.” 2019. Web. 20 Mar 2019.

Vancouver:

Zhao W. Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. York University; 2019. [cited 2019 Mar 20]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35831.

Council of Science Editors:

Zhao W. Self-Compassion as a Protective Factor Against Mental Illness Self-Stigma. [Doctoral Dissertation]. York University; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35831

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