This study was an investigation of the relationships between internalized self-criticism and depression and between comparative self-criticism and depression as these relationships are mediated by the fear of self-compassion, fear of compassion from others, self-compassion, and the perception that one is important to others. To examine these relationships, data were gathered via online survey methods from 206 university students at a large public Midwestern university in the United States. The Self-Criticism/Compassion Mediation Model, in which internalized and comparative self-criticism were both modeled to predict depression, was built and tested via structural equation modeling (SEM). In the presence of 4 competing models, this model effectively modeled relationships among the study variables. In the Self-Criticism/Compassion Mediation Model, the fear of self-compassion, and the perception that one is important to others serially mediated the relationship between comparative self-criticism and depression. Additionally, self-compassion partially mediated both the relationship between internalized self-criticism and depression, and the relationship between comparative self-criticism and depression. Implications include the use of the model as a guide to developing evidence-based practice for highly self-critical, depressed clients.
- Fear of compassion
- Importance to others