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The impact of mindfulness and self-compassion on post-traumatic stress symptoms through emotion regulation

Ladeira, Christopher (2020) The impact of mindfulness and self-compassion on post-traumatic stress symptoms through emotion regulation. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Following current best recommended treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a large proportion of individuals will retain their diagnosis, or continue to experience debilitating subthreshold symptoms of trauma. These statistics point to a need for new treatment considerations, whether that be alternative therapies or adjuncts to current treatments. Emerging research suggests that both mindfulness and self-compassion may hold utility in the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Higher scores on trait measures of mindfulness and self-compassion are associated with reduced PTSS. Moreover, mindfulness and compassion-based treatments appear to reduce PTSS. It has been proposed that mindfulness and self-compassion benefit an individual’s emotion regulatory capacity which results in reduced PTSS. The aim of the present study was to explore the extent to which mindfulness and self-compassion might influence PTSS through changes in emotion regulation, and to examine the respective contributions of self-compassion and mindfulness to PTSS. It was hypothesised that (1) mindfulness and self-compassion would negatively correlate with PTSS and that (2) these relationships would be partially mediated by emotion regulation. To test these hypotheses, cross-sectional data from 34 trauma affected individuals was subjected to mediation and multiple regression analyses. Mediation analyses revealed that the relationships between mindfulness, self-compassion and PTSS were fully mediated by difficulties in emotion regulation. Multiple regression analyses revealed that neither mindfulness nor self-compassion uniquely accounted for any of the variance in the prediction of PTSS. This study provides some exploratory insight into the mechanisms through which mindfulness and self-compassion might affect PTSS. Findings highlights self-compassion and mindfulness as potential treatment strategies for PTSS, particularly when emotion regulation is concerned. Limitations are discussed in the body of the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Correia, Helen
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