نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
نویسنده مسئول، استادیار گروه روانشناسی، دانشگاه لرستان، خرمآباد، ایران. Zarei.email@example.com
عنوان مقاله [English]
The association between depression symptoms and psychological well-being has received both theoretical and empirical support, however, less is known about the moderating mechanisms in this relationship. The current study aimed to explore the moderating role of self-compassion in the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychological well-being. The research method was descriptive – correlational. The statistical population was widowed women who referred to the East Tehran Welfare Organization in 2019, and a total of 130 women were selected via a simple accidental sampling method. Psychological Well-being Scale (PWS), Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) were used to collect the data. Collected data were analyzed using hierarchical linear regression. Results showed that the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychological well-being (r= -0.54, p<0.001) was significantly negative. Also, results of hierarchical regression confirmed the moderating role of self-compassion in the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychological well-being (β= -0.23, p<0.01). The present study highlights the moderating role of self-compassion as an underlying mechanism between depression symptoms and psychological well-being. Therefore, increasing self-compassion in widowed women could be a good way to protect them in the face of adversity and suffering in life.
Self-compassion, Depression, Psychological Well-being, Widowed Women.
The death of a spouse is a traumatic and painful situation in life that is associated with a high prevalence of psychological distress such as depression and anxiety (Kristiansen et al., 2019). Men and women both will suffer from reduced psychological well-being following widowhood, however, researchers report that this rate is much higher in women than in men (Xu et al., 2017). The absence of a husband affects almost the entire sphere of a woman's life and affects her well-being in various psychological, social, physical, behavioral and economic dimensions (Moon et al., 2014). Widowed women, despite these sufferings, are obliged to take responsibility and are forced to raise their children (Zhou & Hearst, 2016).
Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the psychological well-being of widows and help them cope with their stressful lives because psychological well-being influences their ability to cope with problems and will protect their children and families (Agrawal & Keshri, 2014). Therefore, it is important to note how and under what conditions and in fact through what variables the effect of widow depressive symptoms on psychological well-being is reduced. In this area, studies show that self-compassion is a positive orientation toward pain, suffering, and distress that influence psychological functioning (Neff & Germer, 2018). Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the moderating role of self-compassion as a psychological competence in the relationship between depressive symptoms and the psychological well-being of widows.
This cross-sectional and correlational study was conducted on widowed women referring to the east Tehran Welfare Organization who in 2019 had an active record of receiving social services. Using a simple sampling method, 150 people were selected as samples. Psychological Well-being Scale (Ryyf, 1989), Self- Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003), and Beck Depression Inventory-II (Beck, Steer & Brown, 2000) were used to collect the data. It is noted that 20 participants were excluded from subsequent analyses. Collected data were analyzed using Pearson correlation and hierarchical linear regression using SPSS 23.0.
About the demographic characteristics of 130 widowed women participants, it is noted that age averaged 41.58 years (SD = 8.03). The results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that in the first step, depression symptoms alone explains 38% of the variance of psychological well-being. In the second step, self-compassionate as a moderator variable by adding to the regression equation along with depression symptoms explain 45% or the variance of psychological well-being. Finally, in the third step, the interaction between depression symptoms and self-compassion was added to the regression equation, and the results of this interaction have 59% of the power to explain psychological well-being. Therefore, due to the increase in the explained variance of the psychological well-being variable as a result of the interactive variable of depression and self-compassion, it can be concluded that self-compassion can moderate the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychological well-being.
Discussion and Conclusion
The results showed that self-compassion has a moderating role in the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychological well-being, which indicates that self-compassion, has a deterrent function to the negative effects of depressive symptoms on psychological well-being. Explaining this finding, it can be said that self-compassion increases well-being because it helps people to have a stronger sense of dependence, communication and security (Neff & Germer, 2018). Also, self-compassion can increase positive emotions and resources that weaken negative emotions such as depressive symptoms, and this factor leads to increased psychological well-being (Kirby et al., 2017). In another explanation, it can be stated that self-compassion can be used as a barrier against widowed’ negative experiences and increase their positive emotions when negative events occur in their lives and act as an important potential protective factor against emotional issues such as depressive symptoms (Holm et al., 2019).
Because the relationship between depression symptoms and psychological well-being varies depending on the individual's level of self-compassion, counselling or psychological intervention programs focusing on increasing self-compassion can help widows reduce depression and mental well-being. Therefore, mental health professionals must develop programs to increase self-compassion among widowed women to cope with difficult emotions, adversity and life breakdowns.
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