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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3348GP1F

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Incarcerated Women's Understanding and Experiences of Self-Compassion Open Access

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Other title
Subject/Keyword
self-compassion
incarcerated women
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hiseler, Lara Elizabeth
Supervisor and department
K. Jessica Van Vliet (educational psychology)
Examining committee member and department
George Buck (educational psychology)
Jacqueline Pei (educational psychology)
Geraldine Lasiuk (nursing)
Linda McMullen (psychology) University of Saskatchewan
William Whelton (educational psychology)
Department
Department of Educational Psychology
Specialization
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
2015-02-18T09:35:05Z
Graduation date
2015-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Incarcerated women are a rapidly growing population with complex mental health issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma. These difficulties contribute to challenges with emotion regulation, in which individuals struggle with adaptively identifying and expressing emotion responses. Difficulties with emotion regulation can result in risk-taking, aggressive and violent behaviours. Self-compassion, which involves relating to oneself in an accepting and kind way during times of distress, has been shown to promote psychological well-being and adaptive emotion regulation skills. To date, there are no studies examining self-compassion from the perspectives of incarcerated women. Research in this area may inform the development of gender-responsive, compassion-focused interventions tailored to unique needs of this population. The present study investigated how self-compassion is understood and experienced by incarcerated women using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with nine women at a medium security provincial prison in Alberta. The findings are demonstrated through six superordinate themes: (a) honouring oneself, (b) adopting a new mindset, (c) gaining self-awareness and insight, (d) accepting and letting go, (e) desiring self-improvement and enacting change, and (f) flow of self-compassion. Clinical implications for integrating compassion-focused approaches with women in prison, methodological considerations, and future avenues for research are discussed.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3348GP1F
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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