Aims: The study examined the relationship between self-compassion and positive mental health of undergraduate students of the Royal University of Bhutan.
Study Design: It was a correlational study.
Place and Duration of Study: The sample consisted of students of Gedu College of Business Studies, College of Science and Technology, Samtse College, Norbuling Rigter College, Royal Thimphu College, Paro College of Education, College of Language and Cultural Studies, Sherubtse College, in Bhutan, between July 2020 and June 2021.
Methodology: Participants were 321 undergraduate students (184 female, 137 male), between 17 and 40 years of age. To assess self-compassion and positive mental health they completed a questionnaire that consisted of the Self-Compassion Scale–Short Form (SCS-SF) and the Mental Health Continuum–Short Form (MHC-SF).
Results: There was not a significant difference in overall mental health scores between the male students (M = 2.560, SD = 1.325) and the female students (M = 2.339, SD = 1.254); t(319) = -1.525, p = .128. Among the students surveyed, 24.6 percent were flourishing, 42.1 percent were moderately mentally healthy, and 33.3 percent were languishing. The percentage of female students (35.3) languishing was higher compared to male students (30.7). The participants had a moderate level of self-compassion (M = 3.034, SD = 0.403). The male students (M = 3.092, SD = 0.415) were significantly more self-compassionate than the females (M = 2.991, SD = 0.389); t(319) = -2.230, p = .026. Self-compassion was significantly positively correlated with the positive mental health of the students (r = .337, p < .001). Self-kindness (r = .298, p < .001), mindfulness (r = .278, p < .001), common humanity (r = .240, p < .001), self-judgment (r = .126, p = .024), and isolation (r = .119, p = .033) components of self-compassion were found to be significantly positively correlated to positive mental health. Over-identification had a non-significant weak correlation with positive mental health (r = 0.09). According to regression results, mindfulness (β = .18, p = .017), self-kindness (β = .17, p = .023), and self-judgment (β = .15, p = .006) significantly positively predicted positive mental health. The regressor, mindfulness, had the highest correlation with positive mental health. Self-compassion has explained 11.1 percent of the variance in positive mental health, F (3, 317) = 14.385, p < .001.
Conclusion: Enhancing mindfulness is a promising positive intervention to improve positive mental health and reduce the risk of mental illness of the students in the future.