Be Kind to Yourself: The Relationship Between Self-Compassion, Self-Concept & Self-Regulated Learning in University Students With & Without High-Incidence Exceptionalities

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Tejpar, Sunaira
Self-compassion , Self-concept , Self-regulation , Exceptionalities , Inclusion
The concept of self-regulated learning (SRL) provides a lens for examining how students master their own learning, and for identifying particular behaviours that are effective in achieving learning goals (Schunk & Zimmerman, 2008). The ability to self-regulate is important at any stage in education, however, it may be especially important for post-secondary students who must navigate through a new environment with independence. The ability to self-regulate can be particularly difficult for some university students (Peverly et al., 2003), especially those students with high incidence exceptionalities including learning disabilities (LDs) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the number of students with exceptionalities enrolling in postsecondary education increases each year, external support provided by the offices who serve these students are finding it difficult to keep up with the demands placed on them (Seagull, 2017). Therefore, it is important to seek out additional ways of supporting students with exceptionalities in postsecondary education. Specifically, a focus on developing social-emotional processes such as self-concept and self-compassion may be valuable ways of supporting self-regulated learning for these students. With little research investigating self-processes including global self-concept and self-compassion, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship among self-compassion, self-concept and self-regulated learning as they relate to students with and without disabilities in university. A total of 240 university students (26 males; 194 females; 5 gender variant/non-conforming) took part in the study. The participants completed a 78-item questionnaire consisting of demographic questions and the following scales: the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003), the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich et al., 1993) and the Personal Self-Concept Questionnaire (PSC; Goñi et al., 2011). Correlational analyses indicated that greater scores in self compassion were associated with greater scores in self-concept, self-efficacy learning strategies scores, and overall self-regulation. Greater scores in self-concept were associated with great scores in self-efficacy, learning strategies scores and overall self-regulated learning scores. Students who were formally identified with an exceptionality reported higher personal self-concept scores than their non-identified peers. Lastly, self-regulated learning was not statistically significant among the various groups. These findings suggest self-processes and internal strengths could serve as additional support related to self-regulated learning and academic resiliency for all students despite their disability status.
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