Student Authors:

Wesley Ellen Gregory '15, Gettysburg College

Jillian V. Glazer '18, Gettysburg college

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



We conducted an experiment to examine self-compassion and responses to pain among undergraduate women with and without histories of self-injury. After a writing task that has been shown to increase self-compassion in a values-affirming condition relative to a neutral control condition, participants completed a self-report measure of state self-compassion and the cold pressor task. As predicted, participants with a history of self-injury reported lower trait self-compassion than those without such a history, and participants in the values-affirming condition reported significantly higher state self-compassion than those in the control condition. Moreover, participants with a history of self-injury demonstrated significantly less insensitivity to pain in the values-affirming condition than the control condition. Future research should investigate the possibility that interventions involving self-compassion and/or affirmation of values may help correct high-risk responses to pain among those who self-injure.

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