Self-Compassion Scale (SCS)

The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) is a 26-item measure of assessing self-compassion, which entails being kind and understanding toward oneself. This scale is made up of six subscales: Self-Kindness, Self-Judgment, Common Humanity, Isolation, Mindfulness, and Over-identification.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Self-Kindness Subscale
1. I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.
2. I’m kind to myself when I’m experiencing suffering.
3. When I’m going through a very hard time, I give myself the caring and tenderness I need.
4. I’m tolerant of my own flaws and inadequacies.
5. I try to be loving towards myself when I’m feeling emotional pain.

Self-Judgment Subscale
6. When I see aspects of myself that I don’t like, I get down on myself.*
7. When times are really difficult, I tend to be tough on myself.*
8. I can be a bit cold-hearted towards myself when I’m experiencing suffering.*
9. I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.*
10. I’m intolerant and impatient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.*

Common Humanity Subscale
11. When I feel inadequate in some way, I try to remind myself that feelings of inadequacy are shared by most people.
12. I try to see my failings as part of the human condition.
13. When I’m down and out, I remind myself that there are lots of other people in the world feeling like I am.
14. When things are going badly for me, I see the difficulties as part of life that everyone goes through.

Isolation Subscale
15. When I fail at something that’s important to me I tend to feel alone in my failure.*
16. When I think about my inadequacies it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world.*
17. When I’m feeling down I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than I am.*
18. When I’m really struggling I tend to feel like other people must be having an easier time of it.*

Mindfulness Subscale
19. When something upsets me I try to keep my emotions in balance.
20. When I’m feeling down I try to approach my feelings with curiosity and openness.
21. When something painful happens I try to take a balanced view of the situation.
22. When I fail at something important to me I try to keep things in perspective.

Over-Identification Subscale
23. When something upsets me I get carried away with my feelings.*
24. When I’m feeling down I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong.*
25. When something painful happens I tend to blow the incident out of proportion.*
26. When I fail at something important to me I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy.*

Response Options:
5-point scale
Almost never - 1
Almost always - 5

Scoring Procedures

An overall self-compassion score is calculated by summing the means of each of the six subscale scores.

Original Citation

Neff, K. D. (2003). The Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure Self-Compassion. Self and Identity, 2(3), 223-250.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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