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Self-compassion as a Buffer against Homesickness, Depression, and Dissatisfaction in the Transition to College

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Life transitions that include moving to a new location are stressful, particularly if difficulties arise in the new environment. This study focused on the role of self-compassion in moderating students' reactions to social and academic difficulties in the transition to college. Before starting college, 119 students completed a measure of self-compassion, the degree to which people treat themselves kindly during distressing situations. At the end of their first semester, participants answered questions about their social and academic difficulties and completed measures of homesickness, depression, and satisfaction with their decision to attend the university. Students who scored higher in self-compassion weathered difficulties more successfully, reported lower homesickness and less depression, and expressed greater satisfaction with their decision to attend the university.
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Keywords: Depression; Homesickness; Regret; Self-compassion; Transition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Psychology Department, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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