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Preprint / Version 1

Self-Compassion in University Students: An Integrative Literature Review




compassion, self-compassion, college students, higher education, mindfulness, integrative literature review


This integrative review reviewed the scientific production on self-compassion in college students. Searches were performed in PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, without temporal delimitation, in Portuguese, English, or Spanish. A total of 183 files were found, and after the screening, eligibility, and selection steps, 9 papers were included, following the PRISMA guidelines. The intervention studies analyzed showed that adaptations of the MBSR protocol were predominantly used, employing elements of self-compassion. Overall, the results demonstrated a relationship between self-compassion and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, high levels of mindfulness, verbal and figurative creativity, altruism, self-esteem, self-efficacy, control beliefs in learning, compassion competence, and mindfulness behavior were identified; and that self-compassion may be an important moderator for minimizing suicidal behaviors and self-criticism among college students. It is concluded that self-compassion is an important predictor of psychological well-being that positively influences the learning process.


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Author Biographies

Mara Dantas Pereira, Universidade Tiradentes - UNIT

Bachelor in Psychology from Tiradentes University (UNIT), Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil. Master's student in the Post-Graduation Program in Psychology at Universidade Federal de Sergipe - UFS (PPGPSI/UFS); member of the Study and Research Group in Psychology, Education, Health and Inclusion at UFS (GEPPESI/UFS); researcher in the Teaching, Evaluation, Curriculum and Contemporaneity Research Group at UNIT (GPDACC/UNIT/CNPq); and collaborator associated with the Research Group Education, Culture and Subjectivity of UFS (GPECS/UFS/CNPq); researcher at the School of Legal Sciences of the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (ECJ\UNIRIO), linked to the Research Group Human Rights and Social Transformation of UNIRIO (GPDTS/UNIRIO/CNPq); and researcher at the Laboratory of Biosciences of Human Motricity of UNIT (LABIMH/UNIT/CNPq).

Joilson Pereira da Silva, Universidade Federal de Sergipe - UFS

PhD in Psychology from the Complutense University of Madrid-Spain. He did a Senior Post-Doctoral Internship in Psychology at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona-Spain. Master in Psychology by the Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB). Associate Professor at Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS) and credentialed professor of the Graduate Program in Psychology (PPGPSI/UFS). Member of the Research Group on school violence: bullying and prejudice (UNIFESP) and leader of the Group for Studies and Research in Psychology, Education, Health, and Inclusion (GEPPESI/UFS).

How to Cite

Pereira, M. D., & Silva, J. P. da. (2021). Self-Compassion in University Students: An Integrative Literature Review. In SciELO Preprints.


Human Sciences