Compassion-Based Meditation in African Americans: Self-Criticism Mediates Changes in Depression

Suzanne B. Johnson, Bradley L. Goodnight, Huaiyu Zhang, Irene Daboin, Bobbi Patterson, Nadine J. Kaslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines self-criticism as a mechanism through which compassion meditation reduces depressive symptoms in low-income African American men and women (N = 59) who had recently attempted suicide. After completing several measures, including the Levels of Self-Criticism Scale and Beck Depression Inventory-II, participants were randomly assigned to receive either a six-session compassion meditation (CM) group (Grady Compassion and Meditation Program) or a six-session support group. As predicted, path analysis results showed that treatment condition led to changes in self-criticism from pre- to posttreatment, with those receiving CM showing greater reductions in levels of self-criticism than those randomized to the support group. Path analyses also revealed that changes in self-criticism fully mediated the link between condition and changes in depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the importance and value of targeting levels of self-criticism in compassion-based interventions to reduce the depressive symptoms of suicidal African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

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