Past research demonstrates interrelationships amongst rumination, self-compassion, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, little research has considered rumination and self-compassion together in relation to PTSD in clinical populations. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the unique effect of self-compassion on PTSD beyond the effect of rumination. Secondarily, we examined if rumination mediates the effect of self-compassion on PTSD. Participants included 52 US military Veterans (73.1% male) enrolled in a community support program for PTSD who completed self-report measures of study variables at one time point. Hierarchical regression results showed rumination was related to higher PTSD scores (f2 = .12; small ES) in step one, and the addition of self-compassion in step two was related to lower PTSD scores (f2 = .10; small ES) and explained a unique 9% of the variance. In contrast to previous research, results showed self-compassion mediated the relationship between rumination and PTSD, with a significant indirect effect (ab) of.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] = .028 to.457). Findings suggest the explanatory value of self-compassion for PTSD after accounting for rumination and may also reflect a process where rumination about behaviors one regrets gives rise to uncompassionate responding, which then contributes to greater PTSD.
- post-traumatic stress disorder