ArticlePDF Available

Men's Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem: The Moderating Roles of Shame and Masculine Norm Adherence


Abstract and Figures

Self-compassion, a relatively new but increasingly popular alternative to self-esteem, has been found to vary by gender, with men reporting greater levels than women. The current study furthers this emerging area of inquiry by addressing the relationships among conformity to masculine norms, trait shame, self-esteem, and self-compassion for 145 heterosexual men. Results demonstrated that higher levels of self-compassion were related to lower masculine norm adherence, lower trait shame, and higher self-esteem. In addition, 2 significant interactions emerged, with shame moderating the relation between masculine norm adherence and both self-esteem and self-compassion. These findings highlight the complex interdependence between emotional disposition and gender orientation in men’s self-concepts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
Content may be subject to copyright.
Men’s Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem: The Moderating Roles of Shame
and Masculine Norm Adherence
Erin D. Reilly, Aaron B. Rochlen, and Germine H. Awad
University of Texas at Austin
Self-compassion, a relatively new but increasingly popular alternative to self-esteem, has been found to
vary by gender, with men reporting greater levels than women. The current study furthers this emerging
area of inquiry by addressing the relationships among conformity to masculine norms, trait shame,
self-esteem, and self-compassion for 145 heterosexual men. Results demonstrated that higher levels
of self-compassion were related to lower masculine norm adherence, lower trait shame, and higher
self-esteem. In addition, 2 significant interactions emerged, with shame moderating the relation between
masculine norm adherence and both self-esteem and self-compassion. These findings highlight the
complex interdependence between emotional disposition and gender orientation in men’s self-concepts.
Keywords: self-compassion, self-esteem, shame, masculinity, mental health
Male socialization patterns emphasizing emotional restrictive-
ness and stoicism have been commonly theorized to limit men’s
access to vulnerable feelings and heighten psychological distress
(Levant, 2011). Researchers have argued that boys are embedded
in cultural ideals of masculinity that have limited and stigmatized
their emotional expression and willingness to respond to or ac-
knowledge feelings (Pederson & Vogel, 2007). As a result, there
has been increasing evidence suggesting male gender conformity
is a significant factor in predicting psychological well-being
(Mahalik et al., 2003).
Expressing vulnerability in times of distress may be particularly
antithetical to men’s self-conceptualizations of masculinity, espe-
cially in regards to shame. The experience of shame may become
both a vehicle of gender socialization and an internalized product
of it, as male gender role socialization promotes a “shame phobic”
male experience (Wright, 1987). It has thus been suggested that
men have been socialized to deny and avoid self-conscious emo-
tions, including shame, yet regularly have their behavior policed
by others in a deeply shameful manner (Kindlon & Thompson,
Over the past few decades, research on self-conscious emotions,
such as shame, guilt, and pride, has expanded considerably
(Stoeber, Kempe, & Keogh, 2008;Tracy, Robins, & Tangney,
2007). Internalized shame, or trait shame, is often experienced as
a debilitating inner-experience that involves a global sense of the
self as defective, lacking, and unworthy of kindness (Lewis, 1992;
Tilghman-Osborne, Cole, & Felton, 2010). Not surprisingly, trait
shame is associated with mental health issues across the life span
such as suicide, depression, and anxiety (Lester, 1998;Orth,
Robins, & Soto, 2010).
Research further suggests that gender role stress and shame are
linked, and contribute to men’s externalizing behaviors (Efthim,
Kenny, & Mahalik, 2001). For example, Jakupcak, Tull, and
Roemer (2005) found that masculinity, shame-proneness, and
men’s fear of emotions predict overt hostility and anger in men.
Recognizing the connection between men’s shame and external-
izing behaviors, Sabatino (1999) highlighted therapeutic tech-
niques particularly valuable for men with intense shame. Despite
these notable theories, there has been limited empirical research
investigating this relationship. Given the often cited finding that
men most in need of help often avoid seeking out services (Addis
& Mahalik, 2003;Vogel, Heimerdinger-Edwards, Hammer, &
Hubbard, 2011), more research is needed on the informal coping
methods men may utilize to manage emotional distress.
Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem
One potential avenue for contributing to such research is inte-
grating approaches and methods from the burgeoning field of
positive psychology. This perspective argues that understanding
the individual attitudes that help people thrive when distressed can
contribute to an increased understanding of optimal well-being
(Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Currently, studies on men’s
adaptive responses to negative life experiences have been increas-
ing but are still underexplored in the literature (Hammer & Good,
2010;Kiselica & Englar-Carlson, 2010). Research investigating
men’s positive responses to distress may help inform interventions
for men experiencing distress but unlikely to seek formal help.
Frequently placed within the context of a positive framework,
research on self-compassion has received significant attention as a
potentially helpful coping strategy. Self-compassion involves hav-
ing a forgiving attitude toward oneself in the face of hardship,
acknowledging that suffering and inadequacies are part of the
human condition, and believing that the self and others are worthy
of understanding and compassion (Neff, 2003a). Research sug-
gests that individuals with higher self-compassion are less likely to
This article was published Online First February 18, 2013.
Erin D. Reilly, Aaron B. Rochlen, and Germine H. Awad, University of
Texas at Austin.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Erin D.
Reilly, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology
Program, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station D5800,
Austin, TX 78712. E-mail:
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Psychology of Men & Masculinity © 2013 American Psychological Association
2014, Vol. 15, No. 1, 22–28 1524-9220/14/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0031028
experience negative psychological outcomes (Leary, Tate, Adams,
Batts Allen, & Hancock, 2007;Neff, 2003a). In addition, Neff,
Kirkpatrick, and Rude (2007) found that self-compassion was a
significant predictor of happiness, hopefulness, and positive affect.
Though there is natural variation in self-compassion, the ability
seems particularly amendable to interventions. Various protocols
and exercises based on self-compassion techniques have led to
increases in this positive ability in individuals (Gilbert & Procter,
2006;Mosewich, Kowalski, Sabiston, Sedgwick, & Tracy, 2011).
Self-compassion has been theorized as an alternative to the
widely studied construct of self-esteem (Neff, 2011). Self-
compassion involves three main components: self-kindness (ex-
tending understanding to oneself, rather than harsh criticism),
common humanity (recognizing that one’s difficulties are part of
the common human experience), and mindfulness (holding
thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness, rather than overiden-
tifying with them; Neff, 2003b). Research has suggested a simi-
larity between the two constructs, with notable differences as well.
In particular, self-esteem involves self-evaluations based on exter-
nal indicators of success and social appropriateness and can be
related to unhealthy outcomes such as narcissism, a disregard of
weaknesses, and a lack of empathy (Seligman, 1995). In addition,
self-esteem requires one to make self-evaluations based on com-
parisons with others and an ability to possess certain culturally
valued traits (Harter, 1999). Self-compassion, however, is less
dependent on external circumstances and focuses more on valuing
the self while still acknowledging subjective imperfections (Neff,
2011). As an internally validating self-concept, self-compassion
has been theorized to allow for healthier coping that benefits
oneself and others during times of sadness and disappointment
(Baker & McNulty, 2011;Neff & Vonk, 2009).
Though research has revealed potential positive mental health
outcomes associated with self-compassion, data suggest that these
benefits might not be experienced equally for men and women.
Multiple studies on self-compassion have found that men tend to
have consistently higher levels of self-compassion than women
(Neff, 2003a;Neff, Hsieh, & Dejitterat, 2005). Thus, self-
compassion represents a constructive coping technique that many
men may already be informally using. However, researchers have
drawn attention to the fact that gender-difference findings may
mask more telling, within-group differences that better contextu-
alize psychological outcomes (Kilmartin, 2010;Wong & Rochlen,
2005). Currently, no research has specifically addressed whether
self-compassion or self-esteem might fluctuate among individual
men as a function of emotional socialization patterns and mascu-
line adherence.
Masculinity, Shame, and a Healthy Self-Concept
Traditional masculine norms appear incompatible with a self-
compassionate attitude. A strict adherence to masculine norms
might make some men less likely to use self-compassion, as this
coping strategy inherently entails acknowledging vulnerable emo-
tions during times of hardship. Hegemonic masculine norms en-
courage men faced with failure or difficulties to engage in criti-
cism and self-comparisons, use self-reliance, and discount their
emotions (Mahalik et al., 2003). In contrast, self-compassionate
individuals treat themselves kindly, acknowledge humans’ inter-
connectedness, and maintain a balanced perspective on their emo-
tional states to cope with hardship (Neff, 2003a). Consequently,
the ability to sustain a self-compassionate attitude while adhering
to masculine norms might be difficult, as the two constructs appear
essentially incongruous.
Given the literature emphasizing shame as an important emo-
tional process for men, it is possible that internalized shame might
be associated with masculine norm adherence and a healthy self-
concept (Addis & Cohane, 2005). Kindlon and Thompson (2000)
suggested that shame, anger, and sadness can become the most
commonly felt—yet least regulated— emotions in boys’ lives.
Both trait shame and traditional masculinity appear antithetical to
self-compassion yet are deeply involved in male socialization
(Krugman, 1995). Young men may learn to fear tender or vulner-
able emotional states due to a masculine gender socialization
that uses this emotion to encourage masculine norm adoption
(Jakupcak et al., 2005). Men may come to associate their mascu-
line identity with an aversion to the experience of shame, which
may lower their ability to negotiate vulnerable emotions promoting
understanding, sympathy, and self-kindness (Korobov, 2010;
Sabatino, 1999).
Unlike self-compassion, however, self-esteem is a self-concept
more intimately linked to aligning one’s behaviors with cultural
values (Fulmer et al., 2010). Some research suggests that cisgender
norm conformity might actually increase self-esteem, especially
for those struggling with life difficulties, by involving individuals
in a socially desired activity (Guerrero Witt & Wood, 2010).
Engaging in traditional masculine behavior may thus be related to
greater self-esteem for men struggling with issues like trait shame.
Consequently, the effect of trait shame, in conjunction with high
masculine norm adherence, might lessen men’s predisposition for
self-compassion but may not have the same association with men’s
Research Questions
To contribute to this area of research, the present study investigated
the relationship that masculinity and trait shame have on self-
compassion and self-esteem in heterosexual men. Consistent with
prior theory, we hypothesized that self-compassion would be nega-
tively correlated with both adherence to masculine norms and trait
shame but would replicate a positive but modest correlation with
self-esteem. We also hypothesized an interaction, such that the rela-
tionship between masculine norms and self-compassion would be
moderated by the internalized experience of shame. Specifically, the
negative association between masculine norm adherence and self-
compassion would be stronger at low levels of trait shame but weaker
at high levels of trait shame. In addition, we hypothesized that this
interaction pattern between masculine norm adherence and trait
shame would not hold for self-esteem, a related though distinct
self-concept. We hypothesized, instead, that the association between
masculine norm adherence and self-esteem would be stronger and
positive at higher levels of trait shame, as conforming to masculine
norms would boost these men’s self-esteem.
Participants included 145 heterosexual men from two separate
data sources. These data sources included students at a large
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Southwest institution (53.8%) and a community sample (46.2%).
Student participants were recruited through their department’s
subject pool and received course credit for contributing to the study.
Community participants were recruited by online and real -life
advertisements throughout different large cities in the United
States. All participants were entered into a raffle for four gift
certificates. The mean age for participants was 26.01 years old
(SD 9.31). Data collected on ethnicity indicated that 61.4% of
the sample identified as Caucasian/White, 15.2% as Asian or
Pacific Islander, 10.3% as African American/Black, and 7.6% as
Hispanic/Latino. In terms of highest level of education obtained,
16.6% had a high school diploma, 29% had some college, 9.7%
had a 2-year college degree(AA), 36.6% had a 4-year college
degree (BA or BS), and 7.6% had a MA/PhD. The mean annual
income for this sample was $25,000 –$49,999.
For all surveys, items were averaged and computed, with higher
scores denoting higher levels of the measured construct. The
Self-Compassion Scale Short Form (SCS-SF; Raes, Pommier,
Neff & Van Gucht, 2011) assessed individuals’ levels of self-
compassion, which involves the following components: (a) self-
kindness, (b) common humanity, and (c) mindfulness. The SCS-SF
was created by selecting items from the full 26-item Self-
Compassion Survey that best mirrored the scope of the original
content. The SCS–SF has demonstrated adequate scale score reli-
ability (Cronbach’s alpha .86 in all samples) and is strongly
correlated with the original long-form SCS (r.97 all samples).
The SCS-SF is scored on a 5-point Likert Scale from 1 (almost
never)to5(almost always) with higher scores indicating higher
levels of self-compassion. Mean scores were computed for the
total self-compassion score, and range from 1 to 5. Reliability
estimates for this study revealed a Cronbach’s alpha of .77, 95%
CI (.71–.82).
The Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory 22 Item Short
Form (CMNI-22; Hamilton & Mahalik, 2009) measured partici-
pants’ behaviors, attitudes, and conformity to an assortment of
dominant masculine norms in the United States. The CMNI-22
was created using the two highest-loading items for each of the 11
subscales found in the original CMNI-94 item validation study.
The CMNI-22 yields a total masculinity score and correlates with
the original CMNI-94 item scale at .92. The CMNI-22 is scored on
a 4-point Likert Scale from 1 (strongly disagree)to4(strongly
agree)” Scores on this scale were transformed into mean scores
and range from 1 to 4, with higher scores indicating higher levels
of adherence to masculine norms. Cronbach’s alpha for this mea-
sure was .73, 95% CI (.66 –.78).
The Internalized Shame Scale (ISS; Cook, 1987) investigates
global negative evaluations of the self, and rates the frequency
with which respondents experience particular thoughts or feelings
related to shame. The ISS is a 30-item self-report questionnaire,
with 24 items forming the trait shame scale and 6 items forming
the self-esteem measure. Both scales have previously exhibited
high-scale score reliability, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.96 and
0.95 for shame and self-esteem, respectively. Items are scored on
a scale of 1 (never)to5(almost always). Scores were transformed
into mean scores, and range from 1 to 5 for both subscales, with
higher scores indicating greater levels of shame or self-esteem.
Cronbach’s alpha for this the sample was .88, 95% CI (.85–.91) for
the self-esteem scale and .96, 95% CI (.95–.97) for the shame
Preliminary comparison tests for these variables were run to
investigate possible difference by sample and demographics. The
two samples differed significantly on masculine norm conformity
and trait shame, but not on self-compassion or self-esteem, with
the student sample having significantly higher levels of masculine
norm adherence (p.01) and lower trait shame (p.001) than
the community sample. Age, race, and income were not signifi-
cantly related to any variables; however, level of education was
significantly correlated with conformity to masculine norms (r
.19, p.05), with higher levels of education being related to
lesser conformity to masculine norms. Consequently, level of
education and sample were both controlled for when running the
subsequent hierarchical multiple regression to explain the variance
in self-compassion.
To analyze the hypothesis that self-compassion would be neg-
atively correlated with adherence to masculine norms and trait
shame but positively correlated with self-esteem, Pearson Product
correlations were conducted. As described in Table 1, self-
compassion was positively correlated with self-esteem but nega-
tively correlated with masculine norm conformity and trait shame.
In addition, trait shame was negatively correlated with self-esteem,
indicating that greater trait shame was related to lower levels of
To investigate the hypothesis that the relationship between
masculine norms and self-compassion would be moderated by the
internalized experience of shame, several hierarchical multiple
regressions were run and are presented in Table 2. Preliminary data
analyses were conducted and assured that key assumptions for
multiple regression analysis were met. Neither education level nor
sample were significant predictors in this model and were thus
removed in subsequent analyses. The interaction between confor-
mity to masculine norms and trait shame emerged as a significant
predictor of self-compassion (␤⫽⫺.22, p.001). At high levels
of trait shame (1 SD above the mean), conformity to masculine
norms was not significantly related to self-compassion (B .07,
␤⫽.04, SE .17, p.68); however, at low levels of trait shame
(1 SD below the mean), conformity to masculine norms was
significantly and negatively related to self-compassion (B ⫽⫺.66,
␤⫽⫺.34, SE .16, p.001; see Figure 1). This indicates that
masculine norm adherence was a strong predictor for self-
Table 1
Correlations Between Self-Compassion, Adherence to Masculine
Norms, Trait Shame, and Self-Esteem
Measure M SD 123
1. Self-compassion 3.05 0.57
2. Conformity to
masculine norms
2.47 0.29 .24
3. Trait Shame 2.55 0.80 .58
4. Self-Esteem 3.56 0.76 .51
.07 .55
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
compassion for men with low shame, but not for men with high
shame. These data suggest that high levels of trait shame not only
reduce self-compassion in high-conformity men, but also in low-
conformity men, with the overall model explaining 41% of the
variance in self-compassion, adjusted total R
.41, F(3, 141)
33.36, p.001.
We also hypothesized that the pattern of interaction found for
self-compassion would not hold for self-esteem. The interaction
between conformity to masculine norms and trait shame emerged
as a significant predictor of self-esteem (␤⫽.19, p.01);
however, the pattern of the interaction differed. At high levels of
trait shame (1 SD above the mean), conformity to masculine norms
was significantly and positively related to self-esteem (B.79,
␤⫽.31, SE .24, p.001); however, at low levels of trait shame
(1 SD below the mean), conformity to masculine norms was not
significantly related to self-compassion, (B⫽⫺.02, ␤⫽⫺.01,
SE .22, p.92; see Figure 2). This suggests that, unlike
self-compassion, masculine norm adherence was a strong positive
predictor for self-esteem for men with high shame, but not for men
with low shame. Overall, the regression model accounted for a
significant amount of variance in self-esteem, adjusted total R
.36, F(3, 139) 26.12, p.001.
Past research suggests that masculine norm conformity might be
associated with men’s difficulty negotiating vulnerable emotions
and forming a healthy self-concept. More generally, the results of
this study extend previous theory by emphasizing the importance
of shame in men’s lives. Our data further suggest that two increas-
ingly researched self-concepts, self-compassion and self-esteem,
are positively correlated but distinct constructs, replicating previ-
ous research suggesting a moderate correlation between the two
constructs (Deniz, Kesici, & Sümer, 2008;Neff, 2003a). These
data suggest that men who are compassionate and balanced in their
self and emotional-perspective have a higher sense of self-
confidence than men who are unforgiving of their faults. This is
consistent with research reporting that people with high self-
esteem feel deserving of happiness, and thus tend to work harder
to manage their negative emotions (Wood, Heimpel, Manwell, &
Whittington, 2009). General compassion training has also been
shown to modestly improve self-esteem, which suggests that en-
gaging in compassionate behaviors or thoughts might create a
favorable view of the self as possessing socially valued traits
(Mongrain, Chin, & Shapira, 2011).
Previous theory further suggests that internalized shame creates
an emotional disposition characterized by an inability to self-
soothe, emotionally regulate, and be compassionate to oneself in
the face of a perceived threat (Gilbert, 2005;Mikulincer & Shaver,
2004). As predicted, higher levels of trait shame were associated
with lower levels of self-compassion. Recently, therapists have
recognized the lack of overall compassion in high shame individ-
uals, and created “compassionate mind training” to generate the
Table 2
Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analyses Testing Interaction Models
Self-compassion Self-esteem
Step and predictors R
Step 1 .36 .32
Masculine norm adherence .17
.33 .13 .58–(.07) .14 .35 .18 .01–(.71)
Trait shame .56
.40 .05 .49–(.31) .57
.54 .07 .68–(.41)
Step 2 .05 .04
Masculine norm adherence .15
.30 .13 .55–(.05) .15
.38 .18 .04–.73
Trait shame .58
.42 .05 .51–(.32) .59
.56 .07 .69–(.43)
Trait Shame Masculine Norm
Adherence .22
.46 .13 .20–.72 .19
.51 .19 .15–.88
Note. 95% CI 95% confidence interval.
Figure 1. Interaction of trait shame and masculine role adherence on self-compassion.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
confidence, warmth, and self-soothing that can reduce negative
mood (Gilbert & Proctor, 2006). The current study further illus-
trates that feelings of inadequacy, emotional restrictiveness, and
critical self-judgment are incompatible with self-compassion for
many men.
These findings also emphasize the significance of gender ori-
entation in understanding levels of self-compassion in men. Data
revealed that conformity to masculine norms was negatively cor-
related with self-compassion, which aligns with previous research
suggesting that men adhering to traditional masculine norms tend
to avoid or inhibit vulnerable feelings and intimacy with others
(Levant & Pollack, 1995;O’Neil, 2008). However, consistent with
our second hypothesis, the data further suggest that the relationship
between masculine norm adherence on self-compassion levels in
men varies considerably depending on trait shame. For men with
lower trait shame, lower masculine norm conformity was strongly
related to higher self-compassion. Conversely, men with higher
levels of trait shame had significantly lower self-compassion lev-
els, regardless of their masculine norm adherence. These data
indicate that, when trait-shame is high, it may impair men’s ability
to be self-compassionate, regardless of their masculine norm ad-
herence. However, when trait shame is low, men with lower
masculine norm adherence have significantly greater self-
compassion than men who strongly adhere to masculine norms.
These results suggest that severe trait shame may be so over-
whelming and incompatible with self-compassion that, at ex-
tremely high levels, it “trumps” masculine role adherence in pre-
dicting men’s potential for self-compassion. Research suggests
that men are socialized to avoid and yet deeply internalize shame,
leading men in particular to maladaptively negotiate difficult emo-
tions (Wright, 1987). This is a profoundly negative experience that
can undermine one’s relationships with both self and others (Jak-
upcak et al., 2005). Consequently, it is not particularly surprising
that at higher levels of trait shame men would generally have lower
self-compassion levels, regardless of masculine role adherence.
The current findings further suggest that shame may be a key
component to men’s emotional lives and healthy self-concept, and
underscores the importance of providing men with informal inter-
ventions designed to increase men’s acceptance of vulnerable
emotion states during times of distress. Further research exploring
these relationships, particularly those focused on using samples of
men in treatment, is needed and should provide further clarity.
It is also important to note that this pattern of interaction
between trait shame and masculine norm conformity did not hold
for self-esteem. Our findings suggest that the relationship between
adhering to masculine norms and self-esteem was contingent on
men’s trait shame. Greater masculine norm conformity was asso-
ciated with higher self-esteem for men with higher levels of trait
shame. At low levels of trait shame, masculine norm conformity
was not significantly related to self-esteem. One possibility is that
the trait shame variable may be tapping into men’s perceived
ability to live up to traditional masculine ideals. In fact, men
experiencing psychological distress may gain personal gratifica-
tion and confidence by engaging in privileged and socially valued
masculine behaviors (Good & Sanchez, 2010). This would be
congruent with past research suggesting that individuals who do
not conform to gender norms, and see this as a personal failing as
a man, may experience greater negative affect and lower self-
esteem (Guerrero Witt & Wood, 2010). This finding further em-
phasizes the differential impact of shame and masculine norm
conformity on self-concepts like self-compassion and self-esteem.
Although this study was conducted on a nonclinical sample,
some tentative practical and clinical implications can be cautiously
outlined. Past research has suggests that conformity to masculine
norms is linked to avoidant coping strategies that can lead to
increased distress and depression in men (Wilkinson, Walford, &
Espenes, 2000). However, when dealing with hardship or failure,
individuals with more self-compassion are less likely to use harm-
ful escape/avoidant coping such as substance abuse, disengage-
ment, or denial (Allen & Leary, 2010). Self-compassion practices
may assist men’s healthier emotion regulation by helping men
engage with and process negative feelings. Our findings further
suggest, however, that self-compassion might be a challenging
concept for men with greater masculine norm conformity or high
shame. However, as self-compassion may be congruent with pos-
itive outcomes such as lowered harmful externalization, more
adaptive coping, and more emotional disclosure (Neff et al., 2007),
it would be worth addressing these challenges and perhaps incor-
porating this concept into work with men.
Figure 2. Interaction of trait shame and masculine role adherence on self-esteem.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
On the other hand, self-esteem building may be an easier con-
cept to address with men who adhere more strongly to masculine
norms. In many ways, self-esteem and masculinity are self-
concepts that must be earned and externally validated. In fact, past
research suggests that for men who highly value masculine norms,
gender conformity may help them align their actual and ideal
selves and lead to positive outcomes (Good & Sanchez, 2010). It
is possible that self-esteem focused strategies might be more
congruent with the worldview of highly conforming masculine
men, and thus might be particularly fitting for them. Further
research investigating therapeutic interventions focusing on self-
esteem and self-compassion is needed.
Several limitations and recommendations based on the present
study should be noted. Because of this study’s correlational nature,
results obtained cannot assess causation. Though some scholars
have identified a possible causative link between masculine norm
adherence, trait shame, and self-compassion because of male so-
cialization, no current research has utilized the methodologies
necessary for fully exploring this theory’s merit. Experimental and
longitudinal designs are thus needed for investigating possible
causal and socialization models that explain the effect and inter-
nalization of these constructs in men.
Another limitation is the study’s reliance on self-report mea-
sures administered to participants at a single point in time. This
might have been especially problematic given that some of the
measures used are considered to be stable and reflective of trait-
level constructs. However, current researchers have contended that
masculine role adherence in particular is not a stable trait, but
rather a contextual and changing construct (Addis, Mansfield, &
Syzdek, 2010). In addition, recent work by Owen (2011) suggests
that the global masculinity score on the CMNI-22 demonstrates
poor fit. Using different measurement techniques and investigating
the potentially fluid nature of these variables might alleviate this
problem and contribute to further research in this area. Finally,
preliminary descriptive statistics revealed differences on some
measures of interest, specifically on conformity to masculine
norms and trait shame, between the student and community sam-
ples. Although these sampling issues were controlled for in sub-
sequent analyses, their existence highlights the inherent problems
in generalizing these results to other samples of men.
Despite study limitations, the current research highlights a
potentially helpful and already informally used coping mecha-
nism for men’s negotiation of vulnerable emotions—self-
compassion. However, this beneficial strategy may not be
equally used by all men; specifically, greater levels of mascu-
line norm internalization and trait shame may predict men’s
lowered ability to be self-compassionate. In addition, these
results suggest that self-esteem interventions may align better
with men who strongly adhere to masculine norms, and thus be
more congruent with their values and mental health needs.
Future researchers and clinicians should consider both level of
shame and masculine norm adherence when focusing on men’s
expression of vulnerable emotions and ability to form a healthy
self-concept when confronting life difficulties.
Addis, M. E., & Cohane, G. H. (2005). Social scientific paradigms of
masculinity and their implications for research and practice in men’s
mental health. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 633– 647. doi:
Addis, M. E., & Mahalik, J. (2003). Men, masculinity, and the contexts of
help seeking. American Psychologist, 58, 5–14. doi:10.1037/0003-066X
Addis, M. E., Mansfield, A. K., & Syzdek, M. R. (2010). Is “masculinity”
a problem?: Framing the effects of gendered social learning in men.
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 11, 77–90. doi:10.1037/a0018602
Allen, A. B., & Leary, M. R. (2010). Self-compassion, stress, and coping.
Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 107–118.
Baker, L. R., & McNulty, J. K. (2011). Self-compassion and relationship
maintenance: The moderating roles of conscientiousness and gender.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 853– 873. doi:
Cook, D. R. (1987). Measuring shame: The internalized shame
scale. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 4, 197–215. doi:10.1300/
Deniz, M. E., Kesici, S¸., & Sümer, A. S. (2008). The validity and reliability
of the Turkish version of the Self-Compassion Scale. Social Behavior
and Personality, 36, 1151–1160. doi:10.2224/sbp.2008.36.9.1151
Efthim, P. W., Kenny, M. E., & Mahalik, J. R. (2001). Gender role stress
in relation to shame, guilt, and externalization. Journal of Counseling &
Development, 79, 430 – 438. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2001.tb01990.x
Fulmer, C. A., Gelfand, M. J., Kruglanski, A. W., Kim-Prieto, C., Diener,
E., Pierro, A., & Higgins, E. T. (2010). On “feeling right” in cultural
contexts: How person-culture match affects self-esteem and subjective
well-being. Psychological Science, 21, 1563–1569. doi:10.1177/
Gilbert, P. (2005). Compassion and cruelty: A biopsychosocial approach.
In P. Gilbert (Ed.), Compassion: Conceptualisations, research and use
in psychotherapy (pp. 9 –74). London, UK: Routledge.
Gilbert, P., & Proctor, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people
with high shame and self-criticism: Overview and pilot study of a group
therapy approach. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 13, 353–379.
Good, J. J., & Sanchez, D. T. (2010). Doing gender for different reasons:
Why gender conformity positively and negatively predicts self-esteem.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 203–214. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402
Guerrero Witt, M., & Wood, W. (2010). Self-regulation of gendered
behavior in everyday life. Sex Roles, 62, 635– 646. doi:10.1007/s11199-
Hamilton, C. J., & Mahalik, J. R. (2009). Minority stress, masculinity, and
social norms predicting gay men’s health risk behaviors. Journal of
Counseling Psychology, 56, 132–141. doi:10.1037/a0014440
Hammer, J. H., & Good, G. E. (2010). Positive psychology: An empirical
examination of beneficial aspects of endorsement of masculine norms.
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 11, 303–318. doi:10.1037/a0019056
Harter, S. (1999). The Construction of the self: A developmental perspec-
tive. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Jakupcak, M., Tull, M. T., & Roemer, L. (2005). Masculinity, shame, and
fear of emotions as predictors of men’s expressions of anger and hos-
tility. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6, 275–284. doi:10.1037/1524-
Kilmartin, C. T. (2010). The masculine self (4th ed.). Cornwall-on-Hudson,
NY: Sloan.
Kindlon, D., & Thompson, M. (2000). Raising Cain: Protecting the emo-
tional life of boys. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Kiselica, M., & Englar-Carlson, M. (2010). Identifying, affirming, and
building upon male strengths: The positive psychology/positive mascu-
linity model of psychotherapy with boys and men. Psychotherapy:
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47, 276 –287. doi:10.1037/
Korobov, N. (2010). Young men’s vulnerability in relation to women’s
resistance to emphasized femininity. Men and Masculinities, 14, 51–75.
Krugman, S. (1995). The development and transformation of shame. In R.
Levant & W. Pollack (Eds.), A new psychology of men (pp. 91–128).
New York, NY: Basic Books.
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 Person-
ality and Social Psychology, 92, 887–904. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.5
Lester, D. (1998). The association of shame and guilt with suicidality. The
Journal of Social Psychology, 138, 535. doi:10.1080/002245498096
Levant, R. F. (2011). Research in the psychology of men and masculinity
using the gender role strain paradigm as a framework. American Psy-
chologist, 66, 765–776. doi:10.1037/a0025034
Levant, R. F., & Pollack, W. (Eds.). (1995). A new psychology of men. New
York, NY: Basic Books.
Lewis, M. (1992). Shame: The exposed self. New York, NY: Free Press.
Mahalik, J. R., Locke, B., Ludlow, L., Diemer, M., Scott, R. P. J.,
Gottfried, M., & Freitas, G. (2003). Development of the Conformity to
Masculine Norms Inventory. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 4, 3–25.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2005). Mental representations of attachment
security: Theoretical foundations for a positive social psychology. In
M. W. Baldwin (Ed.), Interpersonal Cognition (pp. 233–266). New
York, NY: Guilford.
Mongrain, M., Chin, J. M., & Shapira, L. B. (2011). Practicing compassion
increases happiness and self-esteem. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12,
Mosewich, A. D., Kowalski, K. C., Sabiston, C. M., Sedgwick, W. A., &
Tracy, J. L. (2011). Self-compassion: A potential resource for young
women athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 33, 103–123.
Neff, K. D. (2003a). The development and validation of a scale to measure
self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223–250. doi:10.1080/
Neff, K. D. (2003b). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of
a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85–101. doi:
Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-compassion, self-esteem, and well-being. Social
and Personality Psychology Compass, 5, 1–12. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004
Neff, K. D., Hsieh, Y. -P., & Dejitterat, K. (2005). Self-compassion,
achievement goals, and coping with academic failure. Self and Identity,
4, 263–287. doi:10.1080/13576500444000317
Neff, K. D., Kirkpatrick, K., & Rude, S. S. (2007). Self-compassion and its
link to adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of Research in
Personality, 41, 139 –154. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2006.03.004
Neff, K. D., & Vonk, R. (2009). Self-compassion versus global self-
esteem: Two different ways of relating to oneself. Journal of Personal-
ity, 77, 23–50. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00537.x
O’Neil, J. (2008). Summarizing 25 years of research on men’s gender role
conflict using the Gender Role Conflict Scale: New research paradigms
and clinical implications. The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 358 – 445.
Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Soto, C. J. (2010). Tracking the trajectory of
shame, guilt, and pride across the life span. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 99, 1061–1071. doi:10.1037/a0021342
Owen, J. (2011). Assessing the factor structures of the 55- and 22-item
versions of the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory. American
Journal of Men’s Health, 5, 118 –128. doi:10.1177/1557988310363817
Pederson, E. L., & Vogel, D. L. (2007). Men’s gender role conflict and
their willingness to seek counseling: A mediation model. Journal of
Counseling Psychology, 54, 373–384. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.54.4.373
Raes, F., Pommier, E., Neff, K. D., & Van Gucht, D. (2011). Construction
and factorial validation of a short form of the Self-compassion Scale.
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 18, 250 –255. doi:10.1002/cpp
Sabatino, C. J. (1999). Men facing their vulnerabilities: Group processes
for men who have sexually offended. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 8,
83–90. doi:10.3149/jms.0801.83
Seligman, M. E. (1995). The optimistic child. Boston, MA: Houghton
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An
introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5–14. doi:10.1037/0003-066X
Stoeber, J., Kempe, T., & Keogh, E. J. (2008). Facets of self-oriented and
socially prescribed perfectionism and feelings of pride, shame, and guilt
following success and failure. Personality and Individual Differences,
44, 1506 –1516. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2008.01.007
Tilghman-Osborne, C., Cole, D. A., & Felton, J. W. (2010). Definition and
measurement of guilt: Implications for clinical research and practice.
Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 536 –546. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03
Tracy, J. L., Robins, R. W., & Tangney, J. P. (Eds.). (2007). The self-
conscious emotions: Theory and research. New York, NY: Guilford
Vogel, D. L., Heimerdinger-Edwards, S., Hammer, J. H., & Hubbard, A.
(2011). “Boys don’t cry”: Examination of the links between endorse-
ment of masculine norms, self-stigma and help-seeking attitudes for men
from diverse backgrounds. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 368 –
382. doi:10.1037/a0023688
Wilkinson, R. B., Walford, W. A., & Espenes, G. A. (2000). Coping styles
and psychological health in adolescents and young adults: A comparison
of moderator and main effects models. Australian Journal of Psychol-
ogy, 52, 155–162. doi:10.1080/00049530008255383
Wong, Y. J., & Rochlen, A. B. (2005). Demystifying men’s emotional
behavior: New directions and implications for counseling. Psychology of
Men & Masculinity, 6, 62–72. doi:10.1037/1524-9220.6.1.62
Wood, J. V., Heimpel, S. A., Manwell, L. A., & Whittington, E. J. (2009).
This mood is familiar and I don’t deserve to feel better anyway: Mech-
anisms underlying self-esteem differences in motivation to repair sad
moods. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 363–380.
Wright, F. (1987). Men, shame, and anti-social behavior: A psychody-
namic perspective. Group, 11, 238 –246. doi:10.1007/BF01459389
Received May 15, 2012
Revision received October 8, 2012
Accepted October 10, 2012
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
... However, various studies have suggested that self-compassion and self-esteem are positively correlated (Barry et al., 2015;Reilly et al., 2014;Souza & Hutz, 2016). Theoretically, self-compassion is based on feelings, concerns, and non-judgmental comprehension of oneself and others, whereas self-esteem is based on positive self-evaluation (Neff & Vonk, 2009). ...
... For instance, students with high levels of compassion and self-esteem experience fewer negative emotions when receiving bad feedback (Leary et al., 2007). This means that self-compassion could be positively correlated with self-esteem as both contribute to reducing negative feelings (Donald et al., 2018;Reilly et al., 2014). Empirically, the 'self-compassion-as-antecedent' model suggests that self-compassion is highly associated with self-esteem (Souza & Hutz, 2016). ...
... In other words, self-compassionate individuals have a forgiving attitude toward their faults and failures (Neff et al., 2005), and such forgiveness is found to lead to less negative self-evaluations, such as social comparison and self-rumination, thus enhancing self-esteem (Neff & Vonk, 2009). Similarly, Reilly et al. (2014) revealed that higher levels of self-compassion were positively correlated with higher self-esteem in male students with lower trait shame. This finding suggests that men who are self-compassionate have a higher sense of self-esteem than those who do not forgive their faults. ...
Full-text available
Empathy is a critical element of subjective well-being and an important personality trait among undergraduate students. To improve empathy among undergraduate students, the current study examined the relationship between self-compassion and empathy and the mediating role of self-esteem in this relationship. Participants were six hundred and twenty-two (320 males and 302 females) students from five Viet-namese universities, aged 18-21 years (M age = 19.5; SD age = 0.95 years), who completed the self-compassion scale (SCS), empathy scale in adults (BES-A), and self-esteem scale of Toulouse (ETES). The results indicated that (1) self-compassion was positively associated with empathy; (2) self-esteem mediated the relationship between the two variables. Therefore, enhancing undergraduate students' self-compassion may be an effective way to improve their empathy. However, additional studies are required to elucidate the role of self-compassion in the educational context.
... Thus, it is highly interesting that low emotional competence skills -a crucial protective factor against the general use of violence -shows a strong negative association with the endorsement of TMI (Levant, Hall, et al., 2009;Reilly et al., 2014). For example, endorsement of TMI has been directly related to impaired emotion processing, emotional inexpressiveness, and lower interpersonal competencies (Lease et al., 2010;Levant et al., 2014;Levant & Richmond, 2016). ...
... When looking at functional coping strategies that are less context dependent, such as selfcompassion, our results do confirm previous evidence of a negative relation between TMI and functional coping, namely strong TMI being associated with reduced self-compassion (Reilly et al., 2014). Thus, TMI may not only promote dysfunctional emotion regulation, but also undermine functional ways of coping. ...
... Thus, TMI may not only promote dysfunctional emotion regulation, but also undermine functional ways of coping. Our findings thus support the authors conclusion that, particularly men who would profit much from adopting self-compassion practices, may perceive mindfulness-based programs as "unmanly" (Reilly et al., 2014). Thus, it is crucial to address TMI when aiming to increase self-compassion in men, especially since the current study also indicates the possibility of a buffering effect of self-compassion on the relationship between conformity to TMI and aggression. ...
Full-text available
Background: Men are disproportionately often perpetrators of physical domestic violence (DV). Gender role constructs, such as traditional masculinity ideologies (TMI), are broadly accepted as an explanation for this effect. Emotional competence further constitutes an important role in TMI and the prevention of DV. However, the interactions between these constructs remains unclear. Objective: The present study aims to investigate associations of TMI with aggression, DV perpetration, and emotional competence, while also examining emotional competence as a potential moderator. Method: A sample of 428 cisgender men (Mage = 43.9 ± 15.3) from German-speaking countries in Europe completed an anonymous online survey that assessed TMI, aggression, and DV perpetration as well as alexithymia, emotion regulation, and self-compassion as indicators of emotional competence. Results: Strong TMI were associated with high levels of aggression and overall reduced emotional competence, as reflected by high levels of alexithymia, frequent use of expressive suppression, and low levels of self-compassion. Strong conformity to TMI was associated with a higher likelihood for DV perpetration when considering relevant sociodemographic covariates. Moderation analyses revealed that expressive suppression buffered the association between TMI and DV perpetration. Conclusions: Men with strong TMI report high levels of aggression and impaired emotional competence. While strong conformity to TMI was associated with frequent perpetration of DV, higher expressive suppression seems to buffer the association between TMI and DV perpetration. The present study highlights the importance of addressing gender ideologies when working on aggression, DV perpetration and emotional competence in men.
... Much like how fragile objects are especially susceptible to breaking, so, too are men's masculine identities fragile when placed under pressuring motivational conditions. Internalized responses, then, refer to responses to threat that are more inward focused, like anxiety, shame, and selfharm (Chandler, 2019;Green & Jakupcak, 2016;Reilly et al., 2014). In much of the masculinity threat literature, these internalized responses are often discussed in tandem with externalized responses (Vandello & Bosson, 2013). ...
Manhood is a precarious social status. Under perceived gender identity threat, men are disproportionately likely to enact certain stereotype-consistent responses such as aggression to maintain their gender status. Yet less is known regarding individual variation in men’s threat responsiveness—that is, the psychological conditions under which one’s masculine identity is more or less “fragile.” We propose a novel model of masculine identity whereby masculine norm expectancy generates discrepancy within the self to the extent that rigid norms are internalized as obligational (actual-ought discrepancy) versus aspirational (actual-ideal discrepancy), which predict extrinsic versus intrinsic motivations to reduce these discrepancies, respectively. Under threat, then, extrinsic motivations predict externalized responses (e.g., aggression), and intrinsic motivations elicit internalized responses (e.g., anxiety, shame, self-harm). We also consider the conditions under which masculinity may be less fragile—for example, in contexts with less rigid expectations and among men who reject expectations—as pathways to mitigate adverse masculinity threat-related outcomes. Public Abstract In many cultures, men prove their manhood by engaging in behaviors that harm themselves and others (e.g., violence, sexism, homophobia), particularly people from marginalized groups. Yet less is known about why some men are more likely than others to enact these masculinity-proving behaviors. The goal of our model is to specify certain conditions under which masculinities become “fragile” and elicit these responses when under threat. We start by describing the rigid expectations men experience—for example, that they are strong and tough. We propose that these expectations cause men to experience different forms of discrepancy within themselves that produce corresponding motivations to reduce these discrepancies. Under threat, motivations driven by others’ expectations elicit outward attempts to restore masculine status (e.g., aggression), whereas motivations driven by self-ideals cause internalized responses (e.g., shame, self-harm). We conclude by discussing how to reduce these discrepancies, such as mitigating the rigidity of and encouraging men’s resistance to masculinity expectations.
... He still follows those toxic masculinity traits. According to Wright (1987) as cited in Reilly, Rochlen, and Awad (2014), when men expressing their vulnerability in times of distress, it might be considered to be antithetical and a shame if it is seen from self-conceptualizations of masculinity. Furthermore, a shame phobia male experience is promoted by the male gender role socialization. ...
Full-text available
Masculinity is recognized as a social value that regulates how a man should or should not behave. Those who do not meet the ideal characteristics such as strong, powerful, dominant, aggressive, and others, in some circumstances, will be considered as toxic masculinity. This article aims to explore how masculinity traits and toxic masculinity are presented in a short film directed by Michael Rohrbaugh entitled American Male (2016). This film looks at the gender norms which are emerged in a society by showing a muscle-up man who portrays masculine standard traits. The main character in the film is portrayed as a man who is strong, competitive, and violent. The method used is a qualitative content analysis based on the concept of masculinity by Janet Saltzman Chafetz. The results show that American Male is a medium used to convey how masculine norms has ruined the society. As it is socially and culturally constructed, men must be engaged with it. Men must be masculine. Even more, men who do not fulfill the traits are considered either losers or gays. Toxic masculinity subsequently forces men to fulfill masculinity. The traits are socially regressive and lead to violence, patriarchy, domination, and homophobia. In conclusion, the main character becomes depressed, violent, and stereotyped as a result of toxic masculinity.Keywords: male domination, masculine traits, men suppression, toxic masculinityMaskulinitas Toksik dalam American Male Karya Michael RohrbaughAbstrakMaskulinitas diakui sebagai nilai sosial yang digunakan untuk mengatur bagaimana seorang laki-laki harus berperilaku. Bagi mereka yang tidak memenuhi ciri ideal dari seorang lelaki seperti kuat, mendominasi, agresif, dan lain sebagainya, akan dianggap sebagai laki-laki sejati yang mana standar tersebut akan dianggap menjadi maskulinitas toksik. Artikel ini membahas bagaimana karakteristik maskulinitas dan maskulinitas toksik ditampilkan dalam film pendek American Male (2016) yang disutradarai oleh Michael Rohrbaugh. Film ini mengkaji bagaimana norma gender yang muncul di masyarakat dengan memperlihatkan seorang laki-laki berotot yang mengikuti berbagai karakteristik maskulinitas. Karakter utama dalam film tersebut digambarkan sebagai pria kuat, kompetitif, dan kasar. Metode yang digunakan adalah analisis konten kualitatif dan konsep maskulinitas dari teori Janet Saltzman Chafetz. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa American Male (2016) merupakan media yang digunakan untuk menyampaikan bagaimana norma maskulin telah merusak masyarakat. Karena norma tersebut dibangun secara sosial dan budaya, laki-laki harus terlibat di dalamnya. Laki-laki harus maskulin. Lebih dari itu, laki-laki yang tidak memenuhi sifat-sifat tersebut dianggap pecundang atau homo. Maskulinitas toksik selanjutnya memaksa laki-laki untuk memenuhi maskulinitas. Ciri-ciri tersebut regresif secara sosial dan mengarah pada kekerasan, patriarki, dominasi, dan homofobia. Kesimpulannya, karakter utama menjadi tertekan, kasar, dan distereotipkan sebagai akibat dari maskulinitas toksik.Kata kunci: maskulinitas toksik, karakteristik maskulinitas, dominasi laki-laki, penindasan pria
... Sabe-se que a literatura disponibiliza vários estudos referentes a autocompaixão e seus benefícios, além dos impactos na vida dos atletas, por exemplo, a níveis mais alto de autonomia, controle emocional e a menores níveis de medo, fracasso, frustrações Mosewich et al., 2011;Reis et al., 2015;Sutherland et al., 2014), o que faz compreender que a autocompaixão está associada a comportamentos e características positivas, diminuindo e minimizando comportamentos desadaptativos e características negativas. Na mesma direção, sugere-se que a autocompaixão está relacionada com índices menores de depressão, ansiedade, estresse (Bluth & Blanton, 2015;Marsh et al., 2018), menos envolvimento com comportamento auto lesivo Alguns estudos qualitativos demonstram preocupações sobre a autocompaixão no esporte, uma vez que pode ser considerado desafiador, especialmente para aqueles que compreendem a prática como algo que precisa de pressão, domínio, agressão Reilly et al., 2014;Sutherland et al., 2014). Diante disso, vários estudos indicaram os benefícios de abordar a autocompaixão no esporte (Crozier et al., 2019;Fergunson et al., 2014;Hoar et al., 2006;Mosewich et al, 2011). ...
... However, masculine norms, which encourage men to discount their emotions, often prevent males from engaging in self-help interventions/ activities and may have contributed to lower acceptability (Heath et al., 2017). Self-compassion techniques may be especially challenging as the construct appears incongruent with masculine norms, which often promote self-criticism (Reilly et al., 2014). ...
Full-text available
Objective: Eating disorders (EDs) often emerge in late adolescence. Schools are ideal settings for prevention programs; however, cost and time limit implementation. Microinterventions may overcome these challenges. This study adapted two microinterventions (cognitive dissonance, self-compassion) and assessed feasibility and acceptability among mid-adolescents to provide proof-of-concept for further investigation. Method: Feedback from staff (n = 5) and student (n = 15) focus groups contributed iteratively to the adaptation of intervention materials. Students in Grade 10 and 11 (N = 101, Mage = 15.80, SD = 0.68) were then randomly allocated by class to a 20-min video-based cognitive-dissonance or self-compassion intervention, accessed on their school devices. ED risk and protective factors were assessed at baseline, immediate postintervention (state outcomes), and 1-week follow-up (trait outcomes). Acceptability items were included at both timepoints. Results: Implementation was deemed feasible. Girls generally reported greater acceptability than boys. Among girls, the self-compassion intervention demonstrated greater acceptability. Among boys, some aspects of acceptability (e.g., lesson endorsement, utilization of techniques) were rated higher in the cognitive dissonance group whereas other aspects (e.g., understanding, interest) were greater in the self-compassion group. All groups exhibited favorable changes in most state outcomes, however trait outcome change was varied. Discussion: Microinterventions provide a feasible way of implementing prevention strategies in a time-poor educational context. Future large-scale evaluation is warranted to determine efficacy, following modifications based on current findings. Public significance: This study shows promising feasibility and acceptability of two brief, self-guided video-based lessons (microinterventions) for adolescents in school classrooms, that use psychological techniques to target appearance pressures as a key risk factor for eating disorders. Such interventions are easier to implement in school settings than longer, facilitator-led interventions, to encourage greater uptake and ongoing use. Findings support further research to evaluate effectiveness, to ultimately provide accessible and gender-inclusive tools for busy schools.
... Gibt es einen Zusammenhang zwischen Self-Compassion und den besprochenen (Neff, 2003a). Vor allem Menschen mit niedrigen Self-Compassion-Werten ist es wichtig, sich an beispielsweise eigentlich einschränkend wirkenden Geschlechternormen zu orientieren (Reilly, Rochlen, & Awad, 2014;Schmuck, Petersen & Tandler, 2018 Die schon erwähnte Theorie der Sozialen Identität von Tajfel & Turner (1986, 1978, 1981 besagt, dass Individuen das Verlangen nach einem positiven Selbstwert haben. Ein positiver Selbstwert kann auch durch die Identifizierung mit einer positiv wahrgenommenen oder dargestellten Gruppe erlangt werden, wodurch es beispielsweise zu einem unkritischen Favorisieren der Eigengruppe kommen kann. ...
Full-text available
Neff (2003a) beschreibt Self-Compassion als Fähigkeit, sich selbst auch in schwierigen Lebenssituationen mitfühlend und in positiver Grundeinstellung zu begegnen. Ethnozentrismus ist die Wahrnehmung der Eigengruppe als Zentrum. Alles andere wird an ihr gemessen und bewertet, wobei Fremdgruppen meist abgewertet werden (Sumner, 1906; Neuliep & McCroskey, 1997). Das Konstrukt Autoritarismus, das Konservatismus und Unterordnung beschreibt, wurde in den 1950er Jahren durch Adorno, Frenkel-Brenswik, Levinson, & Sanford eingeführt und wird bis heute verwendet, um Vorurteile und Diskriminierung zu erklären (Bierlein, Asbrock, Kauff, & Schmidt, 2014). In der Autoritarismusforschung von Decker, Yendell & Brähler (2018) gilt die fehlende Wahrnehmung von Anerkennung als eine Ursache für autoritäre und ethnozentrische Verhaltensweisen. Daneben soll auch ein niedriger Selbstwert Ethnozentrismus und Autoritarismus vorhersagen können (Kehoe, 1982; Oesterreich, 2005). Es wird angenommen, dass Personen mit weniger Self-Compassion stärkere anti-demokratische Einstellungen zeigen. In einer Onlinebefragung, an der 153 Versuchspersonen teilnahmen, wurden Self-Compassion, Ethnozentrismus, Autoritarismus, Anerkennung und der Selbstwert erhoben. In den Korrelations-, Regressions-, und Mediationsanalysen konnte kein Zusammenhang zwischen Self-Compassion und anti-demokratischen Einstellungen festgestellt werden. In den Post-hoc-Analysen wurden allerdings Hinweise auf einen verstärkenden Einfluss von Self-Compassion gefunden, insbesondere in Form eines Moderationseffektes. Je weniger Self-Compassion eine Person zeigte, desto stärker war der Zusammenhang zwischen Ethnozentrismus und Autoritarismus. Die Ergebnisse wurden diskutiert und in den gesellschaftlichen sowie wissenschaftlichen Diskurs eingebettet.
Background Body image concerns are prevalent among young adults, who may be vulnerable to developing body image concerns because of particular risk factors associated with this life period. With technological advancements, digital mobile health (mHealth) apps are cost-effective and scalable interventions. Thus, mHealth apps can be explored as a form of prevention effort to alleviate body image concerns in young adults. Objective In this randomized controlled trial, we examined the effectiveness of a self-guided mHealth app in improving body image and self-compassion in a sample of university students. Methods Participants (N=310) were randomized to a 9-day self-guided body image and self-compassion mHealth app (n=149) and to an active waitlist control group (n=161), where they completed a similarly structured 9-day program on cooperation. Both programs consisted of content learning and activities such as quizzes, with the number and length of activities matched for both programs. Measures were obtained at baseline, upon completion of the programs (after the intervention), and at 4-week follow-up. Results The intervention group for female participants reported significant reduction in body dissatisfaction (P<.001) and improvements in body appreciation (P<.001) and self-compassion (P=.001) compared with the active waitlist control group after the intervention. Similarly, for male participants after the intervention, a significant reduction was found in the intervention group in body dissatisfaction (P<.001) after the intervention as well as improvements in body appreciation (P=.02) and self-compassion (P=.047). The effects were maintained at 4-week follow-up for female participants on body dissatisfaction (P<.001), body appreciation (P<.001), and self-compassion (P=.02) but not for male participants. On body image risk factors, significant reductions were found for female participants after the intervention for thin-ideal internalization (P<.001), peer pressure (P=.002), and media pressure (P<.001) after the intervention, while the effects were only maintained for thin-ideal internalization (P=.008) and media pressure (P=.01) at 4-week follow-up, compared with the active waitlist control group. As for male participants, no intervention effects were found both after the intervention and at follow-up for all body image risk factors of muscularity internalization, peer pressure, and media pressure. Both apps were acceptable and participants engaged equally across the intervention and active waitlist control groups, as indicated on a measure of app engagement (P=.76). Conclusions This study provides preliminary evidence for a self-guided mHealth app in improving body image concerns and self-compassion in young adult university students. Future studies should include longer follow-ups, and examine its effects with the wider populations of young adults. Trial Registration NCT04977973;
Full-text available
Negative attitudes and shame towards mental health problems are detrimental to our mental health. An established scale of measure for mental health attitudes and shame is the Attitudes Towards Mental Health Problems Scale (ATMHPS), comprising 35 items. This comprehensive instrument evaluates Community/Family Attitudes, Community/Family External Shame, Internal Shame, and Family/Self Reflected Shame. One weakness of the ATMHPS is its length. The present study constructed and validated a shorter version of the ATMHPS (SATMHPS), comprising 14 items. Two samples of UK university students (274 business and 301 healthcare students) were recruited, and the analyses were performed to construct and validate the factorial structure. The SATMHPS demonstrated good to excellent internal consistency, and very strong correlations with the original ATMHPS in both samples. Confirmatory factor analyses on the SATMHPS replicated the seven-factor model identified in the original ATMHPS. The SATMHPS can be a reliable, valid and user-friendly instrument to measure attitudes and shame towards mental health problems.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to determine the effectiveness of an adapted compassion-focused therapy (CFT) group treatment programme for individuals with an intellectual disability (ID), specifically aimed to help address maladaptive conceptualisations of masculinity. Design/methodology/approach Outcome measurements were competed at pre- and post-group and the effectiveness of the intervention were assessed using a Wilcoxon signed ranks test. Findings Findings demonstrated that the treatment group showed significant differences in their “gender role conflict” subscales including the Success, Power, Control and “Restrictive Affectionate Behavior Between Men” subscales; however, no significant differences were found on the Restrictive Emotionality or Conflicts Between Work and Leisure subscales. Furthermore, no significant differences were found on participants psychological well-being, psychological distress, anxiety, self-compassion or quality of life measures. Research limitations/implications Limitations include that a lack of qualitative information regarding outcomes, a lack of control group and a small number of participants may have impacted the outcome of the research. Practical implications The Men’s Masculinity group had a positive impact on the participant’s sense of success, power and control, so it could be considered that this group enabled participants to feel more powerful and in control of their difficulties which is associated with the “drive” system of CFT. Originality/value Overall, this study adds to the small but growing literature that supports using CFT groups as a stand-alone psychological intervention when working with people with an ID.
This article discusses how the product development cycle is being transformed with “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) for the first time in zSeries history. This new era of AI, under the project name IBM Z Development Transformation (zDT), has allowed the team to grow and learn new skills in data science. This transformation forces change structurally in how data is prepared and stored. In z14, there were incremental productivity gains with enhancements to automation with eServer Automation Test Solution and a technology data analysis engine called zDataAssist. However, in z15, AI will significantly accelerate our efficiency. This article explains how Design Thinking and Agile principles were used to identify areas that are of high impact and feasible to implement: 1) what and how data is collected via System Test Event Logging and Analysis engine, Problem ticket management system (Jupitr), and Processor data analysis engine (Xrings); 2) problem identification, analysis, and management (AutoJup) along with Intelligent Recovery Verification Assistant; 3) product design documentation search engine (AskTheMachine); and 4) prototype microprocessor allocation processes Intelligent Commodity Fulfillment System using Machine Learning. This article details the approach of these areas for z15, the implementation of these solutions under the zDT project, as well as the results and future work.
An experimental scale to measure shame, the Internalized Shame Scale, is described with data on reliability and validity presented from a large nonclinical sample of college students and adults and a small clinical sample that included clients with alcohol problems. Implications from the scale for understanding the phenomenology of shame and its relationship to addictions is discussed.
This article defines the construct of self-compassion and describes the development of the Self-Compassion Scale. Self-compassion entails being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one's experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them. Evidence for the validity and reliability of the scale is presented in a series of studies. Results indicate that self-compassion is significantly correlated with positive mental health outcomes such as less depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction. Evidence is also provided for the discriminant validity of the scale, including with regard to self-esteem measures.
A New Psychology of Men. Ronald F. Levant & William S. Pollack (Eds.). New York: Basic Books. 1995. 402 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-46508656-X. $40.00. There was a time when male psychology was seen as the model of health, and female psychology was seen as pathological. Assertive, active masculinity was contrasted with passive, dependent femininity. But those days are gone. As Pollack (1995) states, "The monuments built of men, by men, and for men are tumbling.... Even their virtues are suspected as vices." Although the pace of change is slow, men's roles at home and at work are being redefined, and the psychology of men-how they develop and how they function psychologically as adults-is also changing. Perhaps the rate of change in men's roles crossed a threshold in the 1990s, triggering a surge of new interest in men's needs, their responsibilities, and the roles they have entered in post-industrial, post-feminist, post-modern America. For example, the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, DC, brought attention to African American men, along with a public debate about their roles in families, the economy, and the community. Several national conferences have made fatherhood the central focus for the year. National debates have centered on the responsibilities of single and divorced fathers, as well as the rights of gay men. Robert Bly's Men's Movement continues to attract new warriors, despite the attacks by critics. On many fronts, men and women are actively redefining what it means to be male. To understand the changes in men and to become current with some of the most solid research programs aimed at both the old style masculinity and the emerging new psychology of men, Levant and Pollack's edited volume is essential reading. It is a readable collection of theoretical papers on male development and psychological functioning, reviews of research on men, clinical approaches to men's changing roles, as well as analyses of the diverse developmental experiences of minority males. The papers present a refreshing social-scientific approach to men's roles, without the ideological cliches of either radical feminists or neo-masculinists. The chapters document a 15-year program of theory development, research, and applications spawned by Joseph Pleck's (1981) gender rolestrain paradigm. Pleck's theory was one of the earliest attempts to integrate the emerging critical views of traditional male roles, and it laid the groundwork for the social constructionist perspectives on gender roles that emerged in the 1980s. He argued that the traditional ideals of masculinity-which include the demands for achievement, aggressiveness, toughness, sexual prowess, and psychological autonomy-were bad for men's health. First, the standards were inconsistent with human needs and were so unachievable that many men felt they never lived up to them. Second, in trying to live up to the self-destructive standards, many boys and young men went through traumatizing experiences that damaged them psychologically. …
This study explored how gender role stress variables are related to shame‐proneness, guilt‐proneness, and externalization. Undergraduates completed the Test of Self‐Conscious Affect and the Masculine or Feminine Gender Role Stress Scale, respectively. Canonical analyses revealed 3 significant roots for the male sample accounting for 50% of the total variance between gender role stress and self‐conscious emotions, and 1 significant root for the female sample accounting for 31% of the variance. The discussion examines the complex relationship between gender role ideals and the experience of shame, guilt, and the use of externalization as a defense against these painful affects.
This study uses a critical discursive approach to examine young men’s vulnerabilities in relation to emphasized femininity. Since masculinity is inextricably defined in relation to femininity, men’s achievement of masculinity is intimately dependent on, and vulnerable to, women’s complicity with traditional or emphasized femininity. Analysis centers on men’s negotiations of women’s resistance to one of three forms of emphasized femininity: (1) compliance or receptivity to men’s sexual advances and desires, (2) emotional caretaking, and (3) passivity. Rather than ratcheting up traditionally heroic and macho masculine responses, the young men managed vulnerability through self-deprecation, nonchalance, and scripting to construct an antiheroic and ordinary masculinity. Insights into the nature of men’s vulnerability in relation to women’s experience of emphasized femininity are discussed with the aim of expanding theoretical models of ‘‘men’s pain,’’ models that continue to pivot predominantly around hegemonic masculinity.
This article reviews 232 empirical studies that used the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS) over the past 25 years (1982-2007). The article introduces the gender role conflict (GRC) construct using past definitions and theoretical models. The research findings for diverse men are summarized and studies related to men's intrapersonal, interpersonal, and therapeutic lives are analyzed. The empirical support, criticism, and challenges to the gender role conflict research program are reviewed. A contextual research paradigm with seven domains is presented and 18 research questions and two research models are discussed to foster more moderation and mediation studies on men's GRC. A new diagnostic schema to assess men's GRC in therapy and during psychoeducational interventions is discussed. The research review concludes that GRC is significantly related to men's psychological and interpersonal problems and therefore an important construct for psychologists and other helping professionals.
This article defines and examines the construct of self-compassion. Self-compassion entails three main components: (a) self-kindness—being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical, (b) common humanity—perceiving one's experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as separating and isolating, and (c) mindfulness—holding painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over-identifying with them. Self-compassion is an emotionally positive self-attitude that should protect against the negative consequences of self-judgment, isolation, and rumination (such as depression). Because of its non-evaluative and interconnected nature, it should also counter the tendencies towards narcissism, self-centeredness, and downward social comparison that have been associated with attempts to maintain self-esteem. The relation of self-compassion to other psychological constructs is examined, its links to psychological functioning are explored, and potential group differences in self-compassion are discussed.