Background: It has been established that social incompatibility will have adverse effects on adolescents’ personal, social, educational, and professional lives. The objective of the present study was to investigate the causal relationship of emotion regulation and self-criticism with social incompatibility with the mediating role of self-compassion among boy and girl high school students.
Methods: The design was descriptive-correlational estimated through structural equation modeling (SEM). The population of the study included all the high school students in Ahvaz, Iran in the academic year of 2020-2021. Among them, 848 students (443 girls and 405 boys) were selected through multi-stage cluster sampling method. The instruments included Gross and John’s Emotion Regulation Scale (2003), Thomson and Zuroff ’s (2004) Self-Criticism Scale, Neff ’s (2003) Self-Compassion Scale, and Weitzman’s (1990) Social Development Scale. The fit of the proposed model was examined by the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) through AMOS software (version 24). Bootstrap method was used to investigate the indirect effects. In addition, multi-group structural equation was applied to compare the proposed model of boys and girls.
Results: The results showed a good fit of the proposed model with the data (X2/df=2.80, RMSEA=0.047, CFI=0.90, IFI=0.91, GFI=0.96). Additionally, emotion regulation (β=0.63, P<0.001), self-criticism (β=-0.26, P<0.005), and self-compassion (β=0.22, P<0.012) were directly related to the students’ social maladaptation. Moreover, self-compassion mediated the relationship of emotion regulation and self-criticism with social incompatibility (P<0.05). Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the models of the girls and the boys.
Conclusion: Thus, it is suggested that the roles of emotion regulation, self-criticism, and self-compassion in predicting students’ social maladaptation be considered and some training programs be developed and implemented in this regard.