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Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of the Self-Compassion Scale Short Form Adapted for Children Ages 8–12


  • Essie Sutton

    (Fordham University)

  • Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl

    (University of British Columbia)

  • Amery D. Wu

    (University of British Columbia)

  • Molly Stewart Lawlor

    (University of British Columbia)


Research on self-compassion in adults and adolescents has consistently shown positive associations of self-compassion to mindfulness, psychological and physical well-being, self-esteem, and compassion towards others. Yet, self-compassion in children has not been examined. The present study was conducted to explore the reliability and validity of the Self-Compassion Scale for Children (SCS-C). A sample of 406 children, ages 8 to 12, completed the SCS-C and measures of mindfulness, self-concept, well-being and psychological adjustment, empathic-related responding, and prosocial goals. Results indicated a two-factor structure for the SCS-C with negatively-worded items and positively-worded items forming two discrete subscales, each with acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = .81–.83). Children’s scores on the positive and negative self-compassion subscales were significantly related to most of the self-reported measures in the expected directions. These findings provide insight into the factor structure of the SCS-C and are consistent with previous research on the Self-Compassion Scale with adult and adolescent populations. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the two-factor structure of the SCS-C and its relevance for research and applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Essie Sutton & Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl & Amery D. Wu & Molly Stewart Lawlor, 2018. "Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of the Self-Compassion Scale Short Form Adapted for Children Ages 8–12," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 11(4), pages 1217-1236, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:chinre:v:11:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12187-017-9470-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s12187-017-9470-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anne Gadermann & Kimberly Schonert-Reichl & Bruno Zumbo, 2010. "Investigating Validity Evidence of the Satisfaction with Life Scale Adapted for Children," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 229-247, April.
    2. Anne Gadermann & Martin Guhn & Bruno Zumbo, 2011. "Investigating the Substantive Aspect of Construct Validity for the Satisfaction with Life Scale Adapted for Children: A Focus on Cognitive Processes," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 37-60, January.
    3. Anita Hubley & Bruno Zumbo, 2011. "Validity and the Consequences of Test Interpretation and Use," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 103(2), pages 219-230, September.
    4. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
    5. Lee Cronbach, 1988. "Internal consistency of tests: Analyses old and new," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 63-70, March.
    6. Rosseel, Yves, 2012. "lavaan: An R Package for Structural Equation Modeling," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 48(i02).
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    Cited by:

    1. Guo, Jiacheng & Liu, Yuxiao & Yang, Xiujuan & Cao, Min & Niu, Gengfeng & Zhou, Zongkui, 2024. "The relationship between social network site use and depression among Children: A moderated mediation model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    2. Ying Yang & Zhen Guo & Yu Kou & Ben Liu, 2019. "Linking Self-Compassion and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescents: The Mediating Roles of Relatedness and Trust," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 12(6), pages 2035-2049, December.

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