Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Ginette C. Blackhart

Thesis Professor Department



High self-compassion has been shown to provide many benefits for overall well-being. Some studies have suggested that the environment in which an individual grew up could have some effect on this trait in adulthood. The present research examined the relationship between the parenting style with which an individual was raised and their later adulthood self-compassion and compassion for others. It was hypothesized that the responsiveness of the parent would be directly related to the way that an individual learns to respond to themselves and others. Authoritative parenting style was expected to be related to higher self-compassion and compassion for others as it is characterized by parents who respond positively to their child. Authoritarian parenting was expected to be related to lower levels of each construct as it is characterized by negative responses to the child’s actions. It was found that both authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles are associated with higher levels of self-compassion. The two parenting styles considered to negatively affect children raised in the style, authoritarian and permissive, were found to be related to higher levels of compassion for others. Future research directions for the relationship are discussed.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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