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Aging Ment Health. 2016 Oct;20(10):1035-43. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1060946. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

Self-compassion, attitudes to ageing and indicators of health and well-being among midlife women.

Brown L1, Bryant C1,2, Brown V1, Bei B2,3,4, Judd F3,4.

Author information

1
a School of Psychological Sciences, Redmond Barry Building , University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia.
2
b Centre for Women's Mental Health , Royal Women's Hospital , Parkville , Australia.
3
c Department of Psychiatry , University of Melbourne, Melbuorne , Australia.
4
d School of Psychological Sciences , Monash University, Clayton , Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Attitudes to ageing exert a powerful influence on health and well-being, yet surprisingly little research has examined factors that contribute to the formation of these attitudes. The aim of this study was to consider the potential role of self-compassion in predicting attitudes to ageing, which in turn contribute to positive and negative mental well-being and self-reported health.

METHOD:

This was a cross-sectional study using data from 517 midlife women aged between 40 and 60. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the relationships between self-compassion, three facets of attitudes to ageing and well-being outcomes.

RESULTS:

Together, self-compassion and attitudes to ageing explained between 36% and 67% of the variance in well-being. Self-compassion was a strong predictor of attitudes towards psychosocial loss, physical change and psychological growth (β range: .22-.51). Furthermore, the relationship between self-compassion and well-being outcomes was partially mediated by attitudes to physical change.

CONCLUSION:

Self-compassion may be a modifiable internal resource to promote healthy attitudes to ageing in midlife, when ageing becomes personally relevant. Moreover, attitudes towards physical change may help explain how self-compassion promotes well-being among midlife women.

KEYWORDS:

attitudes; positive psychology; resilience; self-compassion; well-being

PMID:
26147901
DOI:
10.1080/13607863.2015.1060946
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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