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Effect of Mindfulness on Empathy and Self-Compassion: An Adapted MBCT Program on Filipino College Students

Ateneo Bulatao Center, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City 917, Philippines
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Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10030061
Received: 22 November 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2020 / Accepted: 24 February 2020 / Published: 27 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue XVI European Congress of Psychology)
Attending college is meaningful for many young adults. This period is marked by physical, emotional, and psychological changes that can have both positive and negative effects on college students. The last two decades have seen an alarming increase in the number of college students who suffer from mental health conditions, such as depression, suicide, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. It is recommended that actions to support the students’ wellbeing must be creative and evidence-based. Research suggests that a mindfulness-based intervention may be an effective strategy to address mental health conditions among college students. This study was done to examine the efficacy of an adapted mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program that was implemented in a classroom setting in the Philippines and to explore how mindfulness practice can affect empathy and self-compassion on senior Filipino college students aged 19–22 years old. Two classes were used to compare the effects of mindfulness intervention. One class underwent the adapted MBCT program while the other class underwent the same kind of class without mindfulness interventions. Self-report measures of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, Perspective Taking subscale and Empathic Concern subscale of Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and Self-compassion scale—short form were administered before undergoing the adapted MBCT and after the program. After going through the adapted MBCT, college students’ mindfulness significantly improved. Empathy and self-compassion also significantly improved after undergoing the program. This corroborates previous studies done on mindfulness and its efficacy with adolescents and suggests how practicing mindfulness can improve empathy and self-compassion with Filipino college students. It provides a promising groundwork for the emerging interest and research in Asia, particularly in the Philippines, on how the practice of mindfulness can help with the mental health of college students. View Full-Text
Keywords: mindfulness; MBCT; adapted MBCT; empathy; self-compassion; Filipinos; adolescents; college students mindfulness; MBCT; adapted MBCT; empathy; self-compassion; Filipinos; adolescents; college students
MDPI and ACS Style

Centeno, R.P.R.; Fernandez, K.T.G. Effect of Mindfulness on Empathy and Self-Compassion: An Adapted MBCT Program on Filipino College Students. Behav. Sci. 2020, 10, 61.

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