Do compassionate teenagers finish last? How compassion relates to well-being and school outcomes

Indra Liauw
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Informed by research on the benefits of adult compassion training, interventions
to help youth foster compassion for others are becoming increasingly popular in schools.

However, there is sparse research on early adolescents’ understanding and enactment of compassion for others and whether being compassionate has positive benefits for these young givers.

I present qualitative descriptions of how ninth-grade students understand and enact compassion, as well as quantitative data on how participants’ self-reported compassion scores relate to their well-being, resilience, and school outcomes. This study aims to inform research in compassion during adolescence as well as the design and teaching of developmentally-appropriate compassion interventions.

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