Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology


College of Sciences and Health Professions

First Advisor

Yaroslavsky, Ilya

Subject Headings



Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mood disorders and affects over 300 million individuals across the world in a given year. MDD is marked by sadness, loss of pleasure or interest, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, fatigue or loss of energy, and poor concentration that leads to functional impairment, which can potentially have a debilitating impact on individual’s educational, occupational, social and psychological areas of life. Not only is depression highly prevalent in the U.S., but it is also a global concern, including countries such as China. Estimates of lifetime prevalence rates range from 32.6 to 35.1 million in the US and 54 to 100 million in China, respectively. A growing literature shows that self-compassion is a strong protective factor for depression. Self-compassion is a process of mindfully accepting oneself by reducing self-criticism and examining one’s experiences from a broader perspective. The values behind self-compassion are rooted in Asian cultural teachings. A small but growing body of work suggests that self-compassion outcomes may differ across non-Western and Western cultures. However, the effect of cultural background on the relationship between self-compassion and depression remains unknown; therefore, more research is needed to be done in cross-cultural domains. The current proposed project further seeks to understand the role of self-compassion in depression among both American and Chinese populations. This study also aims to understand whether cultural components moderate the relationship between self-compassion and depression.

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Psychology Commons