Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


Behavioral Science



First Advisor

Patricia Morokoff


The present study sought to explore the process by which thirty graduate or undergraduate students, university or college staff, community members, and employed or interning peer recovery specialists aged 19-64 utilize and define self-compassion through the use of virtual interviews and online surveys. Constructivist Grounded Theory and Convergent Mixed Methodology techniques revealed that participants utilize and define self-compassion in holistic and mindful ways with a large focus on self-care. Data also indicate that numerous factors can impact a person’s decision to respond compassionately, including the type of situation, if others are involved, and age. No gender differences were observed, though sample sizes were small. Findings indicate that the present conceptualization of self-compassion may not be entirely in line with how individuals perceive and utilize the construct. Thus, future adaptations, grounded in experience, should be considered.

Available for download on Sunday, January 12, 2025