Examining the factor structure of the self-compassion scale in four distinct populations: is the use of a total scale score justified?
Journal of Personality Assessment
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
This study examined the factor structure of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) using a bifactor model, a higher order model, a 6-factor correlated model, a 2-factor correlated model, and a 1-factor model in 4 distinct populations: college undergraduates (N = 222), community adults (N = 1,394), individuals practicing Buddhist meditation (N = 215), and a clinical sample of individuals with a history of recurrent depression (N = 390). The 6-factor correlated model demonstrated the best fit across samples, whereas the 1- and 2-factor models had poor fit. The higher order model also showed relatively poor fit across samples, suggesting it is not representative of the relationship between subscale factors and a general self-compassion factor. The bifactor model, however, had acceptable fit in the student, community, and meditator samples. Although fit was suboptimal in the clinical sample, results suggested an overall self-compassion factor could still be interpreted with some confidence. Moreover, estimates suggested a general self-compassion factor accounted for at least 90% of the reliable variance in SCS scores across samples, and item factor loadings and intercepts were equivalent across samples. Results suggest that a total SCS score can be used as an overall mesure of self-compassion.
The clinical sample examined in this study was drawn from the PREVENT Trial, a project funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (Project Number 08/56/01). This trial is reported in full in the Lancet (doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62222-4).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Published online: 31 January 2017
Place of publication