, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 554–564 | Cite as

Angry Rumination Mediates the Unique Associations Between Self-Compassion and Anger and Aggression

  • Amanda Fresnics
  • Ashley Borders


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.


Self-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.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentThe College of New JerseyEwingUSA

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