SELF-COMPASSION AMONG WOMEN WITH ABUSE EXPERIENCES: THE ROLE OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a widespread issue that affects the physical and mental health of its survivors. Because of the severity of the outcomes, it is important that clinicians understand potential risk and protective factors in regard to providing the best outcomes for their clients. Under the framework of the stress-buffering hypothesis, this study explored the association between IPV and a woman’s self-compassion, as well as the role of social support as a variable moderating that association. It was hypothesized that higher levels of IPV victimization would be associated with lower levels of self-compassion among women with experiences of IPV. In addition, social support was hypothesized to weaken the association between IPV and individuals’ self-compassion. Data collected from a sample of women in abusive relationships (n=61) was analyzed using linear regression and a test for moderation. Results indicated that there was no significant association between IPV victimization and self-compassion. However, the interaction between IPV and social support tended toward significance. Contrary to the second hypothesis, among women with higher levels of social support, greater IPV was associated with lower self-compassion. Implications for clinical practice when working with this population are discussed.