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Abstract

The authors examined the personality and motivational underpinnings of goal construction among Israeli young adults participating in a preparatory academic program (N = 236). Participants with a strong sense of efficacy reported elevated project investment and intrinsic and identified motivation, a positive project appraisal, and reduced amotivation. In contrast, self-critical participants reported reduced intrinsic motivation and elevated amotivation, and a negative project appraisal. These findings emphasize the role of personality and motivation in goal construction during young adulthood, and confirm conceptualizations of efficacy and self-criticism as respectively representing adaptive and maladaptive aspects of self-definition.
... Self-criticism is consistently associated with a variety of personal and interpersonal difficulties and forms of psychopathology (Blatt, 2004;Powers et al., 2004;Zuroff et al., 1994). In particular, numerous studies show an association between self-criticism or self-critical perfectionism and depression (Levine et al., 2020;Moore et al., 2021;Powers et al., 2007;Powers et al., 2009;Shahar et al., , 2006Werner et al., 2019). ...
... The results provided a clear picture of the negative association between self-criticism and depression. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions and previous research demonstrating the deleterious impact of self-criticism (Blatt & Zuroff, 1992;Dunkley et al., 2003Dunkley et al., , 2014Powers et al., 2004Powers et al., , 2007Powers et al., , 2009Shahar et al., 2006;Moore et al., 2021). Once again it appears that the self-denigration and harsh internal judgment of the selfcritic has a pernicious effect that creates an increased vulnerability to psychopathology. ...
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The current study examined the associations among self-criticism, perceptions of autonomy support, and depression prior to and during the onset of the Covid pandemic. 283 students at a large Canadian university participated in a goal related study, and completed questionnaires assessing personality, autonomy support, and depressive symptoms starting in September of 2019 and ending in May of 2020. The results showed that self-criticism was associated with increases in depressive symptomatology, and that autonomy support was inversely associated with depression. The results also showed that autonomy support moderated the effect of self-criticism on depression such that individuals with higher baseline self-criticism who perceived high levels of autonomy support reported lower levels of depression during the beginning of the pandemic. These results confirm the deleterious impact of selfcriticism and the potential benefits of autonomy support. The presence of autonomy support appears to buffer those who are high in self-criticism from increased depressive symptoms. These results have important clinical implications, suggesting the need to address the perniciousness of self-criticism and the need to develop innovative ways to enhance the delivery of autonomy support.
... A frequent finding is that self-criticism is associated with higher controlled motivation, which in turn predicts negative outcomes such as poor GP and burnout (Jowett et al., 2013). Consistent with Shahar's (2015) theoretical account of self-criticism, there have also been several studies that found that the negative effects of self-criticism were mediated by lower autonomous motivation (e.g., Harvey et al., 2015;Shahar et al., 2003Shahar et al., , 2006aShahar et al., , 2006b. ...
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Based on self-determination theory (SDT), we examined mediational models connecting autonomy support and self-criticism to negative affect (NA), positive affect (PA), and goal progress (GP) via autonomous and controlled motivation. Separate measures were obtained within eight domains (e.g., academic performance and intimate relationships) for 346 university students. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to test whether, both between-persons and within-person, autonomy support and self-criticism predicted autonomous and controlled motivation, which in turn predicted NA, PA, and GP. In addition to several between-persons indirect effects, we found numerous significant within-person indirect effects, including: (1) in domains where they experienced greater autonomy support, people experienced greater PA and greater GP, mediated by greater autonomous motivation and (2) in domains where they experienced greater self-criticism, people experienced more NA mediated by greater controlled motivation, and less PA mediated by greater controlled motivation and lesser autonomous motivation. These results support systematically adopting a multilevel perspective in SDT research.
... For instance, functioning to protect from possible harm to social standing, the self-critical process is motivated by underlying fears of social disconnection and shame [29]. Self-criticism has been shown to be associated with extrinsic motivation [36][37][38], hindering academic goal progress [39]. Driven by perceived threat, self-criticism stimulates defensive and defeatist behaviours with corresponding negative effects [40] which can manifest in amotivation. ...
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University students in the Czech Republic suffer from a low level of mental wellbeing. Research in other university student populations suggests academic motivation, self-compassion and self-criticism are strongly related to mental wellbeing in other university student populations. Students who are motivated to study, kind towards themselves, and less judgemental of them-selves tend to have a high level of mental wellbeing. These relationships had not been evaluated in Czech students. Accordingly, this cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the relationships be-tween mental wellbeing, academic motivation (intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation), self-compassion (self-reassurance) and self-criticism (self-inadequacy and self-hate). Of 130 students approached, a convenience sampling of 119 psychology students at a university in the Czech Republic completed a survey regarding these constructs. Correlation, re-gression, and path analyses were conducted. Mental wellbeing was positively associated with intrinsic motivation and self-compassion, whereas negatively associated with amotivation and self-criticism. Self-compassion was identified as the strongest predictor of mental wellbeing of all. Lastly, intrinsic motivation mediated the pathway from self-compassion to mental wellbeing, but not the one from self-inadequacy to mental wellbeing, and the one from self-hate to mental wellbeing. Our findings can help educators to identify effective means to protect students’ mental wellbeing. Cultivating students’ self-compassion may be helpful to protect their mental wellbeing. University staff and educators in the Czech Republic need to consider ways to embed self-compassion training into their students’ programmes or university life.
... The present participants described how SI obstructed their agentic behavior. These observations accord with those reported by Shahar et al. (2006) and Shulman et al. (2009), who found that a partly overlapping phenomenon, self-criticism, adversely affected young adults' goal construal, predicting low levels of autonomous motivation and positive life-events. The present findings also provide evidence for the connection reported by these researchers between self-criticism and avoidance, that is, how self-critical individuals shy away from doing things they really want to do, and experimenting (Shahar, 2015). ...
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Objective The ability to trust one’s own perceptions is crucial for psychological well-being and growth. The relevance of its opposite, self-invalidation (SI), to the psychopathology of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is emphasized in many contemporary theories of evidence-based treatments for BPD. Empirical research on this topic remains scarce, however. This study aimed to describe manifestations of SI in individuals with BPD during a 40-session psychoeducational intervention based mainly on schema therapy. Method Transcripts of videotaped group sessions were analyzed inductively using qualitative content analysis. Results SI emerged as a recurrent, ubiquitous phenomenon. The content analysis yielded three core categories of SI: (1) a self-critical and harsh attitude towards the self (subcategories reflected punitive internalizations that could engender fear-based inertia, self-erasing, submissive coping behavior, and temporal fluctuation in SI), (2) a deficient sense of normalcy, and self-doubt, and (3) self-stigma. We also found an association of SI with various dimensions of BPD, including difficulty in the identification of emotions, secondary emotional reactions such as guilt, shame, anger, and resentment, self-related and interpersonal problems, and suicidal urges. Conclusions SI is a detrimental cognitive-emotional process relevant to BPD that merits treatment. Efforts to reduce self-stigma, a pernicious aspect of SI, are imperative.
... The distinction between the anaclitic/sociotropic/relatedness and introjective/autonomous/self-definition personality dimensions has been widely validated in both clinical and non-clinical samples (Clark and Beck, 1999;Matsumoto, 1999;Zuroff et al., 2004;Blatt, 2008). These models have also been conceptually and empirically linked to contemporary interpersonal approaches (Freedman et al., 1951;Wiggins, 1991Wiggins, , 2003Pincus, 2005;Ravitz et al., 2008), attachment theory (Sibley, 2007), and self-determination theory (Shahar et al., 2006). Empirical investigations have indicated consistent differences in current and early life experiences (Blatt, 2008), and basic character and relational style (Zuroff et al., 2004) associated with these two dimensions. ...
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Self and relatedness are the two most essential dimensions of personality, as indicated in many personality theories, and have been supported by numerous empirical studies conducted in the western (individualistic) and eastern (collectivist) contexts. However, because of a confusion or failure to distinguish the structure and function of personality, popular theories (e.g., the Big Five model) do not make logic distinctions between these two basic personality dimensions. In terms of the cultural-relevant feature, both self and relatedness and their specific aspects may be variously highlighted in different cultural settings. On the basis of a re-examination of several crucial two-dimension (namely, self and relatedness) personality theories derived from the east and west, we reconstruct a new two polarities personality model to include not only self and relatedness but also the independent and interdependent functions in terms of some popular personality theories from western and eastern cultures. Theoretically and empirically, self and relatedness should be the basic structures of personality, whereas independence and interdependence should be the basic functions of personality. Self and relatedness have independent and interdependent functions; however, due to the cultural relevance of personality, the functions should be variously emphasized in different contexts. Several possible future research directions are discussed.
... RF refers to the capacity to understand oneself and others in terms of mental states, and impairments in this capacity may be particularly important in the context of explaining vulnerability to depression in the transition to university. Several studies have shown that this transition is associated with considerable challenges in the domains of both autonomy and achievement (relevant for self-definition) and relatedness (Luyten & Fonagy, 2018;Shahar et al., 2006). These challenges may be particularly difficult to negotiate for those with impairments in the capacity for RF as they may be less able to make sense of the changes they are going through, leadings to increased feelings of distress and depression. ...
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Despite evidence of increasing prevalence of depression in university students, few studies investigated how depression evolves over the first months at university. We investigate severity of depression among first‐year university students during their first semester at university, and whether it was associated with impairments in personality, mentalizing (or reflective functioning), and social and academic integration. Participants in this two‐wave prospective study were 377 Belgian first‐year students in 2018 and 2019. Results showed that maladaptive interpersonal relatedness and self‐definition at the start of the first semester (T1) were prospectively associated with increases in the prevalence and severity of depression at the end of the semester (T2). Uncertainty, but not certainty, with regard to mentalizing was positively associated with severity of depression at T2 and mediated the association between personality dimensions and severity of depression. The implications of these findings for depression prevention and intervention strategies in first‐year university students are discussed.
... Autonomous motivation refers to behavior initiated and governed by the self. In other words, autonomous motivation occurs when an individual engages in an activity for the sake of personal interest and/or enjoyment (Ryan & Deci, 2000;Shahar et al., 2006). Dozens of studies have shown that autonomously motivated behavior does not involve effortful volition, which is less likely to impact on one's resources (see Ryan & Deci, 2008). ...
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Although proactive behavior is an important determinant of individual work performance, its consequences for employee well-being and other personal outcomes have been largely neglected. In this study, we adopted a within-person perspective to investigate how taking charge behavior (a form of proactivity) affects employees' life outside of work by examining when and how it impacts on their ability to detach and recover from work. Drawing upon resource drain theory, we hypothesized that taking charge has the potential to undermine the process of detachment and recovery from work by draining personal resources. However, based on self-determination theory, we identified autonomous motivation as an essential boundary condition, such that the negative effects of taking charge on detachment and recovery via resource drain occur only when daily autonomous motivation is low. We tested this model on a sample of 77 managers, who provided daily survey data 3 times per day over 5 consecutive working days. Our analyses showed that daily taking charge behavior was negatively related to detachment in the evening, via resource drain, only on days in which people reported low autonomous motivation at work. However, this conditional effect of taking charge did not reach through to next morning recovery. No negative effects of daily taking charge on detachment were observed when people had high autonomous motivation. Overall, these findings suggest that, under some motivational conditions, proactivity can consume resources and interfere with the process of detachment. We offer practical advice for how organizations might encourage proactive behavior while minimizing its drawbacks. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Selfcriticism is a robust predictor of emotional maladjustment, including symptoms of depression, anxiety and disordered eating (Bieling, Israeli, Smith, & Antony, 2003;Dunkley, Blankstein, Zuroff, Lecce, & Hui, 2006;Stoeber & Otto, 2006). In the present study, we aimed to examine whether students high on this personality dimension would display more difficulties in academic adjustment (Shahar, Kanitzki, Shulman, & Blatt, 2006), a relation that may be accounted for by diminished weekly experiences of need satisfaction and elevated experiences of frustration of the psychological needs. ...
Article
The present study aims to examine the role of both adolescents' weekly experiences of psychological need satisfaction and frustration and adolescents' self-criticism in their weekly variation in academic adjustment. A sample of 82 adolescents (mean age = 12.45 years; 42% female) provided weekly assessments of the psychological needs and academic adjustment during three consecutive weeks. Multilevel analyses indicated that weekly variation in need satisfaction related positively to weekly variation in positive affect, engagement, and autonomous motivation, while weekly variation in need frustration related positively to weekly variation in negative affect, disaffection, and controlled motivation. Self-criticism was negatively related to positive affect and autonomous motivation and positively to disaffection and controlled motivation. Further, need-based experiences played a mediating role in the relation between self-criticism and academic (mal)adjustment at the level of between-person differences. Moderation analyses did not reveal any evidence for self-criticism as a potentially amplifying factor in the relation between need-based experiences and academic (mal)adjustment. These findings point to the importance of need-based experiences in explaining the impact of self-criticism on academic (mal)adjustment.
Article
Background: This study was to investigate the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on self-criticism and feeling of shame in methamphetamine users. Methods: The statistical population of this study included all male methamphetamine users who referred to Talash Residential Treatment Center for Harm Reduction in Ghalehshoor, Isfahan, from whom 38 users were selected through convenience sampling and randomly assigned to experimental (n = 18) and control (n = 20) groups. The experimental group received eight sessions of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy twice a week while the control group received no treatment. The data were collected using Levels of Self-Criticism Scale and Internalized Shame Scale and analyzed using covariance analysis. Results: The results showed that this intervention significantly reduced the feeling of shame, but it exerted no significant effect on the participants’ self-criticism. Conclusions: Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, it would be possible to reduce the feeling of shame which is one of the reasons for the persistent substance use in methamphetamine users.
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Despite considerable progress in depression research and treatment, the disorder continues to pose daunting challenges to scientists and practitioners alike. This article presents a novel conceptualization of the psychological dynamics of depression which draws from Melanie Klein's notion of the positions, reformulated using social-cognitive terms. Specifically, Klein's notion of position, consisting of anxieties (persecutory vs. “depressive”), defense mechanisms (“primitive”/split based vs. neurotic/repression based), and object relations (part vs. whole) is reformulated to include (1) affect, broadly defined, (2) affect regulatory strategies (defense mechanisms, coping strategies, and motivation regulation), and (3) mental representations of self-with-others, all pertaining to the past, present, and future. I reformulate the depressive position to include-beyond sadness, anxiety, and anhedonia-also anger/agitation, shame, disgust, and contempt, all of which are down-regulated via diverse mechanisms. In the depressive position, the self is experienced as wronged and others as punitive, albeit seductive. Attempts to appease internal others (objects) are projected into the future, only to be thwarted by awkward and inept interpersonal behavior. This might propel the use of counter-phobic, counter-dependent, and “manic” affect regulatory mechanisms, potentially leading to suicidal depression. © 2018 The American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.
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Two cross-lagged longitudinal studies were carried out to investigate the extent to which the adjustment of personal goals to match the particular stage-specific demands of the transition to motherhood has consequences for women's depressive symptoms. In Study 1, 348 women filled out a revised version of Little's (1983) Personal Project Analysis and a revised version of Beck's Depression Inventory (A. T. Beck, C. H. Ward, M. Mendelsohn, L. Mock, & J. Erlaugh, 1961) 4 times: during early pregnancy, 1 month before childbirth, 3 months after childbirth, and 2 years after childbirth. In Study 2, 140 women who reported high levels of fear of childbirth filled out identical measures during early pregnancy, 1 month before childbirth, and 3 months after childbirth. The results showed that an increase in family-related goals during pregnancy and after the birth of the child predicted a decline in women's depressive symptoms. By contrast, an increase in self-focused goals predicted an increase in women's depressive symptoms.
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Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation have been widely studied, and the distinction between them has shed important light on both developmental and educational practices. In this review we revisit the classic definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in light of contemporary research and theory. Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate. However, extrinsic motivation is argued to vary considerably in its relative autonomy and thus can either reflect external control or true self-regulation. The relations of both classes of motives to basic human needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are discussed.
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The theoretical concept of 'young adults' has been developed as a heuristic tool to examine the changing nature of transitions between youth and adulthood. It was developed jointly by a European network of youth researchers (EGRIS) concerned with both the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of changes in youth, transitions and life-courses. Several perspectives are suggested which aim to reveal the concept's heuristic potential: the de-standardized and fragmented or 'yo-yo' structure of trajectories; the differentiation between structural constraints of the labour market and exclusion influenced by social and education policies; and finally young adults' agency in coping with transitions. It is argued that a key feature of young adults' trajectories is the lack of effective policies that take into account the increasingly de-standardized nature of transitions.
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In this paper the authors discuss personality development as part of a complex transaction of two fundamental developmental lines - an anaclitic developmental line leading to the establishment of satisfying, intimate interpersonal relationships, and an introjective development line leading to a stable, realistic, and essentially positive identity. These two developmental lines normally develop as a complex dialectical process. Psychopathology in the anaclitic configuration includes anaclitic depression (or the infantile personality) and hysteria. Predominant are concerns about interpersonal relationships and the capacity to be close, intimate and to give and receive care and love. Psychopathology in the introjective configuration focuses primarily on issues of self-definition, self-control, self-worth, and identity. These issues can be expressed in primitive form in paranoia, in somewhat advanced form in obsessive-compulsive disorders, or at a high developmental level in introjective guilt-laden depression and phallic narcissism. Each of these forms of introjective psychopathology expresses exaggerated and distorted attempts to establish self-definition and identity.
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In this article, we provide guidance for substantive researchers on the use of structural equation modeling in practice for theory testing and development. We present a comprehensive, two-step modeling approach that employs a series of nested models and sequential chi-square difference tests. We discuss the comparative advantages of this approach over a one-step approach. Considerations in specification, assessment of fit, and respecification of measurement models using confirmatory factor analysis are reviewed. As background to the two-step approach, the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory analysis, the distinction between complementary approaches for theory testing versus predictive application, and some developments in estimation methods also are discussed.
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As the scientific study of the individual person, personality psychology historically has struggled to provide the kind of broad conceptual framework capable of orienting theory and research around human individuality in cultural context. This article presents a new integrative framework for studying persons that brings together recent advances in the field of personality with the emerging social science emphasis on the narrative study of lives, while situating personality inquiry within the cultural context of contemporary modernity and the unique problems of the modem self The framework builds on a clear distinction between the ''I'' and the ''Me'' features of personality in the modem world and the delineation of three relatively independent levels on which modern persons may be described. In personality, the I may be viewed as the process of ''selfing,'' of narrating experience to create a modern self whereas the Me may be viewed as the self that the I constructs. Personality traits, like those included within the Big Five taxonomy, reside at Level I of personality description and provide a general, comparative, and nonconditional dispositional signature for the person. Level II subsumes tasks, goals, projects, tactics, defenses, values, and other developmental, motivational, and/or strategic concerns that contextualize a person's life in time, place, and role. Speaking directly to the modern problem of reflexively creating a unified and purposeful configuration of the Me, life stories reside at the third level of personality, as internalized integrative narrations of the personal past, present, and future. It is mainly through the psychosocial construction of life stories that modern adults create identity in the Me. Life stories may be examined in terms of their structure and content, function, development, individual differences, and relation to mental health and psychosocial adaptation.