Angry Rumination Mediates the Unique Associations Between Self-Compassion and Anger and Aggression
- 486 Downloads
Mindfulness is known to decrease anger and aggression. Self-compassion is a related and relatively new construct that may predict other clinical outcomes more strongly than does mindfulness. Little research has focused on whether self-compassion is related to anger and aggression, and no studies have explored mechanisms of these associations. The current survey study explores whether angry rumination mediates the unique associations between self-compassion and anger and aggression, controlling for trait mindfulness. Two hundred and one undergraduates completed questionnaires assessing self-compassion, mindfulness, angry rumination, and recent anger and aggression. Supporting our hypotheses, angry rumination mediated the associations between self-compassion—particularly its over-identification subscale—and anger and aggression when controlling for mindfulness. Mindfulness did not predict angry rumination, recent anger, or aggression when controlling for self-compassion. Furthermore, multiple regression analyses predicting aggression-related variables indicated that angry rumination uniquely predicted over-identification, one of the six self-compassion subscales. These findings suggest that self-compassion, particularly a lack of cognitive and emotion fusion, may be a more proximal predictor of clinical outcomes than mindfulness. Implications for current conceptualizations and measures of mindfulness are discussed. Self-compassion may be useful for developing clinical interventions targeting anger and aggressive behavior.
KeywordsSelf-compassion Mindfulness Angry rumination Anger Aggression
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Amanda Fresnics declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dr. Ashley Borders declares that she has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the The College of New Jersey’s Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Arch, J. J., Wolitzky-Taylor, K. B., Eifert, G. H., & Craske, M. G. (2012). Longitudinal treatment mediation of traditional cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy for anxiety disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50(7), 469–478. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.04.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Baer, R. A. (2010). Self-compassion as a mechanism of change in mindfulness-and acceptance-based treatments. In R. A. Baer (Ed.), Assessing mindfulness and acceptance processes in clients: illuminating the theory and practice of change (pp. 135–153). Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Denson, T. F., Pedersen, W. C., Friese, M., Hahm, A., & Roberts, L. (2011). Understanding impulsive aggression: angry rumination and reduced self-control capacity are mechanisms underlying the provocation-aggression relationship. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 850–862. doi: 10.1177/0146167211401420.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Feldman, G., Hayes, A., Kumar, S., Greeson, J., & Laurenceau, J. P. (2007). Mindfulness and emotion regulation: the development and initial validation of the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29, 177–190. doi: 10.1007/s10862-006-9035-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Galantino, M. L., Baime, M., Maguire, M., Szapary, P. O., & Farrar, J. T. (2005). Association of psychological and physiological measures of stress in health-care professionals during an 8-week mindfulness meditation program: mindfulness in practice. Stress and Health, 21(4), 255–261. doi: 10.1002/smi.1062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gillanders, D. T., Bolderston, H., Bond, F. W., Dempster, M., Flaxman, P. E., Campbell, L., … & Masley, S. (2014). The development and initial validation of the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire. Behavior Therapy, 45(1), 83–101. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2013.09.001.
- Hayes, A. F. (2012). PROCESS: a versatile computational tool for observed variable mediation, moderation, and conditional process modelingGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2011). Acceptance and commitment therapy: the process and practice of mindful change (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Leary, M. R., Tate, E. B., Adams, C. E., Batts Allen, A., & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: the implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 887–904. doi: 10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1687.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Neff, K. D., & Dahm, K. A. (2014). Self-compassion: what it is, what it does, and how it relates to mindfulness. Mindfulness and self-regulation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Neff, K. D., Whittaker, T. & Karl, A. (in press). 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.Google Scholar
- Peters, J. R., Smart, L. M., Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A., Geiger, P. J., Smith, G. T., & Baer, R. A. (2015). Anger rumination as a mediator of the relationship between mindfulness and aggression: the utility of a multidimensional mindfulness model. Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22189.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Reis, N. A., Kowalski, K. C., Ferguson, L. J., Sabiston, C. M., Sedgwick, W. A., & Crocker, P. R. (2015). Self-compassion and women athletes’ responses to emotionally difficult sport situations: an evaluation of a brief induction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 18–25. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.08.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ruiz, F. J. (2010). A review of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) empirical evidence: correlational, experimental psychopathology, component and outcome studies. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 10(1), 125–162.Google Scholar
- Speca, M., Carlson, L. E., Goodey, E., & Angen, M. (2000). A randomized, wait-list controlled clinical trial: the effect of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 613–622. doi: 10.1097/00006842-200009000-00004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Spielberger, C. D. (1999). Staxi-2: state-trait anger expression inventory-2; professional manual. PAR, Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2006). Using multivariate statistics, 5th edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
- Van Dam, N. T., Sheppard, S. C., Forsyth, J. P., & Earleywine, M. (2011). Self-compassion is a better predictor than mindfulness of symptom severity and quality of life in mixed anxiety and depression. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 123–130. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.08.011.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wongtongkam, N., Ward, P. R., Day, A., & Winefield, H. (2013). Reliability and validity of self-reported questionnaires related to adolescent violence and consequences, Thailand. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 1, 82–92. doi: 10.11114/ijsss.v1i2.110