Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kimberli R Treadwell

Honors Major

Psychological Sciences


Clinical Psychology | Counseling Psychology | Psychology


Self-compassion, the act of being kind and understanding towards oneself, has been shown to have positive impacts on mental health. Depression and anxiety are both common mental health disorders that can interfere with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Several studies have shown that self-compassion correlates with depression and anxiety at a cross-sectional level and across longer periods of time (e.g., several months). In the present study, we examined the fluctuations and the directionality of self-compassion, depression, and anxiety on a day-to-day basis over the span of a week. We also examined the ways that worry and rumination mediate the relationship between daily fluctuations of self-compassion, depression, and anxiety across time. Participants were n = 70 general psychology students and adult community volunteers from the University of Connecticut (insert racial demographics, age demographics, gender). Participants were sent a link to a survey via email to complete each night, at the same time, for 7 consecutive days. Each night, participants self-reported on self-compassion, depression, worry, rumination and anxiety. Mediation analyses showed that worry mediates the relationship between self-compassion and anxiety, but rumination does not mediate the relationship between self-compassion and depression, contrary to previous findings in the literature. MLM showed that there is a significant bidirectional association between self-compassion and anxiety and between self-compassion and depression on a day-to-day basis. The results of this study suggest self-compassion is closely related to fluctuations in anxiety and mood, and that worrying in particular may explain the relationship between self-compassion and anxiety.