An Exploration of Self-Compassion in Incarcerated Women

Abstract

Over the past 5–7 years, there has been growing interest by criminal justice scholars in the area of positive criminology and in the development of gender-responsive treatment programs. A necessary condition for advances in these endeavors is explicating relevant psychological constructs and relying on reliable and valid measures. In this investigation, we explore the psychometric properties of the Self-Compassion Survey (SCS) in a sample of 117 incarcerated women. Participants at a maximum-security state women’s prison completed this cross-sectional, self-report study by filling out the SCS as well as measures of resilience and mindfulness. Results revealed that subscale and total SCS scores had good internal consistency and positively correlated with the other assessed constructs, as expected. Moreover, subscale means in this sample were similar to other samples of women previously reported in the literature. Taken together, our findings suggest that the SCS is a reliable and valid measure in this population and therefore is an appropriate tool to use in exploring the role of self-compassion in the lives of incarcerated women.

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Correspondence to J. T. Ptacek.

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Ptacek, J.T., Daubman, K.A. An Exploration of Self-Compassion in Incarcerated Women. J Police Crim Psych 35, 182–190 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-018-9304-y

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Keywords

  • Self-compassion
  • Self-Compassion Survey
  • Validation
  • Incarcerated women