Adolescents' Experiences of Self-Compassion when Navigating Difficult Friendship Dissolutions

  • Author / Creator
    Feltis, Lindsey
  • Among adolescents, the ending of a close friendship may be a source of significant psychological distress. Considering the potentially adverse sequalae of friendship dissolutions, it is crucial to gain an understanding of strategies and practices that adolescents can employ to cope with such adversity. One such strategy that merits attention is self-compassion, as it has been linked to several outcomes that may be relevant among adolescents experiencing the difficult termination of a close friendship. However, there is a significant gap in the literature regarding self-compassion in the context of friendship loss. To help address this gap, the purpose of the present qualitative study was to understand the meaning and experiences of self-compassion among adolescents who had experienced difficult friendship dissolutions. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to explore the role self-compassion played in adolescents’ experiences of recovering from one of their close friendships ending. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five adolescents across Canada and data analysis revealed six key themes: (a) focusing on the positive, (b) developing and strengthening one’s sense of self, (c) soothing the body and mind, (d) connecting with and expressing emotions, (e) reaching out and connecting with others, and (f) reflecting on friendship. Implications for counselling, study limitations, and suggested directions for future research are included.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.